A Popular Airline Is CHANGING the Way You Do Airport Security

There are few things more frustrating for a traveler than being stuck in a long airport security line.

A busy MCO

Anyone who has flown in the United States over the last two decades can attest to the laborious procedures associated with airport security, especially during busy travel times. From dropping off checked bags through security lines and even boarding one’s flight, there are several ID checks leading to long periods simply standing in lines. However, a program by Delta Airlines looks to alleviate some of these issues. 

First launched in 2021 at Delta’s Detroit and Atlanta hubs, the Delta Digital ID program uses biometric facial recognition technology to match a traveler to a digital ID in Delta’s app, eliminating the need for any physical ID checks from agents. This in turn eliminates the stops and starts that come with travelers needing to dig through wallets and bags to find and/or put away their IDs and other travel documents when checking bags, going though security, or boarding their flight. The airline worked closely with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)  in developing the program.


According to Delta, passengers will simply “utilize dedicated bag drop and security lines allowing you to breeze through without having to take out your phone or wallet.”

To be eligible to use a Delta Digital ID, travelers must meet several criteria according to the airline: They need to be an active Delta SkyMiles member, already enrolled in TSA PreCheck, and have a valid United States Passport. 

Air travel

If those qualifications are met, the traveler must next store relevant information like a Passport and TSA PreCheck Known Travel Number in their SkyMiles profile. Then they simply need to opt in to using Digital ID on the Delta App, and then follow airport signage to ensure they join the dedicated “Digital ID” line at participating airports. Once they reach the head of that line, they’ll look into a camera which uses biometric tech to match their face to the passport information in their SkyMiles profile. 

According to Delta, they do not “save or store any biometric data.”

©Orlando International Airport

The company claims that Delta Digital ID transactions at bag drop locations are about a minute-and-a-half shorter than those without, taking about 30 seconds. They also claim that security line times are shorter as well, though the exact amount of seconds shaved varies by airport. 

In late 2023, Delta’s Digital ID program expanded to three of the nation’s largest and busiest airports: Los Angeles’s LAX, and both La Guardia Airport and JFK Airport in New York City. At the time of that announcement, TSA official Austin Gould said of the program, “Delta Digital ID helps passengers save time and improves security effectiveness. It’s a simpler, more convenient experience – one that strictly adheres to passenger privacy and our security protocols, as well as our mission of protecting our nation’s transportation systems.” 


Delta’s Digital ID program looks to be one of the first steps in changing air travel as we know it entirely, using technology to radically alter the laborious security and boarding process.

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Would you be willing to use biometric date to speed up Airport security, or stick with with your physical ID and passport? Let us know in the comments below. 

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