Delta using fingerprint scanner for Sky Club admission

Frequent-fliers get to test out biometric technology the airline hopes to use to expedite the flight check-in process, too.

Michelle Meyers
Michelle Meyers wrote and edited CNET News stories from 2005 to 2020 and is now a contributor to CNET.
Michelle Meyers
2 min read

A Delta passenger uses a biometric fingerprint scanner to confirm her identity. 


Some of us grumpy travelers are anxiously awaiting the promised biometric technology that's suppose to speed up the airport checkpoint process. Well, Delta Air Lines is giving its frequent-flyer passengers a taste of things to come.

Starting Monday, Delta Sky Club members who are US citizens or permanent residents will be able to sign up to use their fingerprints to enter all 50 of the airline's US Sky Club airport lounges, which offer free snacks, beverages, periodicals, satellite TV, Wi-Fi and other amenities.

Delta's biometrics program is powered by the Clear biometric scanning platform, which the airline has been testing out at Reagan Washington National Airport to expedite the check-in process by verifying fliers' identities against their fingerprints.

"From unlocking our phones to entering the workplace, more and more people have the option to use biometrics as a form of identity verification for daily activities," Delta COO Gil West said in a statement.  "Having that option is quickly becoming an expectation that we are working hard to meet through this program."

It's all further evidence that biometric authentication -- using our bodies to identify who we are, as with the iPhone X's Face ID tech -- might soon be able to smooth today's travel turbulence. Two years ago, London's Gatwick airport ran a trial in which 3,000 British Airways passengers scanned their irises when checking in. And Scandinavian carrier SAS now scans passengers' fingerprints when they check their bags and uses those prints to let them board.

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