Delta is introducing four self-service bag drop machines at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport later this year, a $600,000 investment that allows customers to quickly, securely and easily check their own bags.
One machine will be equipped to test facial recognition technology to match customers with their passport photos through identification verification, a first for US carriers.
Delta airport customer service and cargo senior vice-president Gareth Joyce said: "We expect this investment and new process to save customers time."
"And, since customers can operate the biometric-based bag drop machine independently, we see a future where Delta agents will be freed up to seek out travellers and deliver more proactive and thoughtful customer service."
The airline’s introduction of self-service bag drops and facial-recognition technology is a natural next step in its work to streamline airport processes and is complimented by Delta’s industry-leading radio frequency identification technology. Previous self-service innovations like ticketing kiosks and check-in via the Fly Delta Mobile app have transformed congested lobby areas and drastically improved customer satisfaction scores.
Delta also worked with the Transportation Security Administration to implement the first automated screening lanes in the US at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Other innovations include developing a groundbreaking app that helps pilots avoid turbulence for a more comfortable flight, launching the industry’s most interactive airport wayfinding maps on the FlyDelta mobile app and strategically enhancing its boarding process.
"This is the next step in curating an airport experience that integrates thoughtful innovation from start to finish," Joyce added.
"We’re making travel easier than ever for our customers and continuing to deliver a leading customer experience."
The airline will collect customer feedback during the trial and run process analyses to ensure that this lobby enhancement improves the overall customer experience. Studies have found that self-service bag drops have the potential to process twice as many customers an hour.