Delta Airlines to use Facial Recognition Tech for Self-Service Bag Drops

By Prei Dy, | May 16, 2017

Delta Airlines will soon use facial recognition technology for checking bags. (YouTube)

Delta Airlines will soon use facial recognition technology for checking bags. (YouTube)

Delta Airlines will soon use a facial recognition system for checking bags at a self-service drop station, the company announced on Monday.

Delta will install four machines at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport including one with the facial recognition technology this summer as part of its broader trial of self-service bag drop machines. For the three non-biometric-based stations, agents will manually verify customer's identity. And the fourth station, equipped with the facial recognition tech, will attempt to identify customers without the help of an agent.

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To use it, travelers will be required to scan their passports at the machine, which will then use the facial recognition technology to validate that the identity of the person checking the bag matches the information from the passport. That being said, the technology can only cater to fliers with passports for now.

The technology aims to help customers save time and allow employees to attend more to the customers' needs. A study conducted revealed that the new technology could accommodate twice as many customers in an hour.  

"This is the next step in curating an airport experience that integrates thoughtful innovation from start to finish," Delta Senior Vice President Gareth Joyce said. "We're making travel easier than ever for our customers and continuing to deliver a leading customer experience."

Delta said it would evaluate customer feedback for the bag-drop trial to make sure that "this lobby enhancement improves the overall customer experience." The firm also said that the $600,000 project would make Delta the first airline company to employ biometric-based self-service bag drop in the US.

Meanwhile, the recent move comes after the carrier introduced a radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that will allow the carrier to track bags in real-time using chips included in fliers' bag tags. Delta has also made efforts to modernize its security lanes to reduce wait times by keeping empty bins moving using an automated process.

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