CHICAGO (Reuters) – Delta Air Lines said on Thursday it will begin testing touchless check-ins for domestic flights next month at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, the latest example of how the coronavirus pandemic is changing the travel experience.
Atlanta-based Delta said it will expand the test in Detroit to include bag drop and boarding early next year and is exploring a curb-to-gate facial recognition option that would replace the need to present government-issued IDs across its network.
Bill Lentsch, Delta’s chief customer experience officer, said the COVID-19 pandemic has “deepened the importance of providing a touchless experience.”
The option will be available for U.S. domestic travelers who are TSA PreCheck or Global Entry members.
Delta already offers facial recognition options for international travelers, though the technology has spurred some concerns, with a U.S. government study finding racial bias and the European Union earlier this year considered banning it in public places over privacy concerns.
Yet airlines and airports across the world are increasingly turning to touchless options to ease travelers’ concerns about COVID-19 infections.
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Stephen Coates)