This morning Jet Blue announced it was testing paperless boarding based on facial recognition technology (see, Airline News: Face It! JetBlue Introduces Paperless Boarding Using Facial Recognition Technology).
Not to be outdone, this afternoon Delta announced paperless boarding at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport based on biometric technology, utilizing fingerprints – like that currently used in the Global Entry program (see, Delta News Hub Press Release).
Apparently, this program is already underway for entry to the Delta Sky Club. But, Delta is ready to take the fingerprint technology one step further, and utilize it for boarding. This will initially be used only for passengers enrolled in the CLEAR program.
WASHINGTON — Imagine going from checking bags, into the Delta Sky Club and on to the aircraft without ever producing a boarding pass or printed ID. Soon, Delta SkyMiles Members enrolled in CLEAR traversing Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) will find out exactly what that’s like.
Delta’s biometric boarding pass experience is being tested at DCA, with Phase 1 already underway, allowing eligible Delta SkyMiles Members to forego a paper or mobile boarding pass and hard copy ID in favor of using fingerprints as proof of identity at the Delta Sky Club. Phase 2 would allow Members to use their fingerprints to check a bag, check in at the Delta Sky Club and board a flight.
For further details, see the Delta News Hub Press Release.
While this is all very nice, I would still print out or download my boarding pass. When I went to India, I used the Tourist Visa on Arrival program which also utilizes biometric fingerprint technology. However, the agents had difficulty finding my fingerprints and the grueling process took up at least 30 minutes. Apparently, this problem is not entirely uncommon (see, Dude, Where’d my Fingerprints go? My Experience with India’s Tourist Visa on Arrival Program).
And, why is one airline using biometric fingerprint technology and another using biometric facial recognition technology? Would it be better if one technology was used across the board?