Checking a Bag May Soon Require a Face Scan

Highly convenient, or disconcerting sign of the times?

May 15, 2017 9:00 am

The last six weeks have been a difficult time for airlines, who’ve been accused of everything from grievous bodily injury to terrifying a little boy trying to go to Vegas to celebrate his mom’s birthday

So: Is this some rare good news from the airline industry? Or just another opportunity for travel trauma? We’ll see: News comes today that Delta has invested $600,000 in four kiosks  at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. They don’t just issue boarding passes — if you carry a passport, they’ll scan your face, match it to your passport photo, and print out the tags needed to drop your bags. No need for a ticket agent to match your ID to your luggage. If it works in Minnesota, expect Delta to roll it out in other cities — and other airlines to follow suit. 

Delta says this new tech will dramatically speed up the bag-drop process — by as much as half. That’s welcome new, if it’s true. It sounds like a little Mission: Impossible to us (uh, both as a futuristic film and lower-case adjective) — and honestly, we’re reluctant to trust airlines with a sharp edge, these days, much less smart, new technology. The upside, though, is that if it works, this technology should keep exchanges between the public and airline employees to a minimum — and for now, anyway, that sounds like very good news. 


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