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TSA Expands Touchless ID Program With New United Airlines Partnership

by Staff

Summary

  • TSA expands touchless ID to new airports, using facial recognition for PreCheck customers opting in.
  • United Airlines hubs, O’Hare and LAX, first to offer Touchless ID – encouraging physical backup until 2024 testing.
  • Delta, United, and American Airlines implementing similar touchless ID services across US airports.



On Tuesday, February 27, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) revealed it would expand its new touchless identification experience to brand-new airports across the United States. The touchless experience utilizes facial recognition software for TSA PreCheck customers who opt-in to the service. This means that passengers who have opted into the service will no longer need to bring a physical identification or boarding pass to verify their identity as they pass through TSA PreCheck and security lanes.

Photo: David Tran | Shutterstock

This service has already been available at several airports through a partnership with Delta Air Lines. However, this touchless experience has recently expanded to new airports due to the ongoing partnership between TSA and United Airlines.



Integrating at United Airlines hubs

TSA PreCheck’s Touchless Identity Solution will soon be available at two of United Airlines’ most-visited airports, Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Per The Points Guy, a United Airlines spokesperson stated,

“We recently launched TSA PreCheck® Touchless ID at O’Hare International Airport, which allows travelers* to seamlessly drop off their bags and make it quickly through security – all without having to present an ID. United is the first airline to offer this technology at O’Hare.”

United Airlines customers who are also enrolled in TSA PreCheck can opt into this new feature when traveling through O’Hare. Since the airline is still testing this feature, United Airlines encourages travelers to carry their physical identification and boarding passes. These may be checked after the facial scans. United Airlines expects the testing to run through May 2024. After that, travelers can utilize the facial recognition service without worrying about carrying physical identification or boarding passes.


Delta Air Lines Airbus A319 pushing back at Los Angeles International Airport.

Photo: Thiago B Trevisan | Shutterstock

Additionally, the service also allows travelers to check their bags using facial recognition software. United Airlines has also partially rolled out this feature in Los Angeles as well. However, LAX will only utilize facial recognition software when passing through TSA PreCheck security. The bag drop shortcut is currently not available, although the airline expects this feature to be available by March. Travelers can still utilize normal bag drop shortcuts at LAX for now.

Other Touchless ID services across the US

TSA PreCheck’s Touchless ID service is currently available at several other airports across the country. Per The Points Guy, a TSA spokesperson spoke about other partnerships that have allowed this service elsewhere. The spokesperson stated,


“TSA has partnerships across these various identity verification solutions, with Delta Air Lines Digital ID, United Airlines’ Touchless ID programs, and American Airlines’ digital ID. Passenger participation is voluntary. Passengers may request alternative identity verification if they do not wish to participate, and by doing so, passengers will not be delayed or lose their place in line.”

TSA has an existing partnership with Delta Air Lines and has offered this service at both Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW). The airline will also offer Digital ID at LAX, Laguardia International Airport (LGA), and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The other partnership with American Airlines will further allow similar software at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and has plans to expand to Miami, Phoenix, and Washington DC throughout the end of 2024.


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