Delta Airlines is working in overdrive to navigate through pandemic-era travel and make things easier for travelers.
The Atlanta-based carrier is working on enhancing accessibility of COVID-19 testing kits for travelers and building digital tools to enable travelers to directly upload and verify health documents.
Delta will also be launching the first domestic digital identity test in the US, featuring facial-recognition technology to enable travelers to have a touchless experience from curb-to-gate.
The initiatives are underway to steer the future of travel in the right direction and alleviate stresses and burdens of travelers to carry forward with their plans given the current restrictions and barriers.
At-home Test Kits
The airline will be offering customers in the US with the option of purchasing at home COVID-19 tests.
Delta is advertising the convenience of travelers being able to purchase two separate tests, one before departure and the other to be used prior to their return.
The ability of traveling with a test eliminates the need to worry about finding a test location at the destination.
For those that are not interested in at-home tests, Delta is providing a COVID-19 testing locations page for finding in-person testing locations prior to travel, as well as a SkyTeam directory of testing centers within countries that member airlines serve.
Direct Upload of Health Documents
Delta will be partnering with TrustAssure to provide customers a new functionality available through Delta channels such as pre-flight emails and Delta’s website to allow travelers to directly upload and verify their documents at check-in.
The new feature will initially kick-off with US entry flights and travelers will receive a ‘Ready to Fly’ screen on their mobile devices once test information has been verified.
Regarding the new features, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, Bill Lentsch stated:
“Customers have more travel information coming their way than ever before – with updated COVID-19 testing requirements to digest, new forms to complete and different digital experiences to download and navigate. From simplifying testing to developing an integrated suite of tools on Delta.com, we’re continuing to introduce additional features meant to enhance the existing experience and strengthen the airline’s position as a leader in charting the global recovery.”
Delta will also make it easier for customers to book vacations with confidence, as through March 2021 they are altering their Delta Vacations offerings to only list hotels that offer on-site testing.
Domestic Digital Identity Test
Delta will be launching the first domestic digital identity test in partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Detroit’s Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.
The digital ID will be created through a traveler’s passport number and TSA PreCheck membership, and will be verified by facial recognition technology.
The program will begin in February and will allow travelers to replace the need for showing a boarding pass and travel document at bag drop, security checkpoint, and boarding gate by simply looking into a camera instead.
The facial recognition technology will match the image of the traveler with US Customs and Border Protection’s database and upon verification will allow the traveler to proceed.
Speaking on the new initiative, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, Bill Lentsch stated:
“When it comes to pulling forward the future of Delta’s customer experience, we think big, start small and scale fast, letting innovation lead the way as we continuously listen to customer feedback. The COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened the importance of providing a touchless experience for our customers. We plan to expand curb-to-gate facial recognition and digital ID beyond the Detroit test so that all of our customers can enjoy a seamless, touchless travel experience across our network.”
Participation in the program is voluntary and travelers not wishing to use facial recognition may check-in and board their flights as they always have.
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