By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Delta Air Lines announced it will give passengers who fly out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport the option to use facial recognition to board their flight instead of a standard boarding pass.

The facial scanners will be installed this week at 16 gates, with availability on all international flights through Delta beginning in July. The airline is working with Customs and Border Protection on the process.

The way it works is gate agents use facial scans for boarding passengers so that they don’t need to manually compare their faces and their passport photos. They can skip to using the facial technology.

Delta says the process saves about two seconds per passenger or about nine minutes for a plane with 270 people.

The first facial recognition technology used by Delta was installed in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Delta says 72% of its customers say they prefer facial recognition to standard boarding.

At MSP Airport, WCCO’s Kate Raddatz found the reaction was largely positive, although some were doubtful. Travelers with privacy concerns who opt out of facial recognition can still present their paper or digital boarding pass.

“I am a Delta flyer but I think it would be great for anyone. I know there’s a lot of worry and nervousness about identity theft but … it doesn’t concern me. Times are changing and we’ve got to change with it,” Jennifer Baysinger, of Otsego, said.

Salt Lake City is another location being added to Delta’s facial recognition upgrades.

Kate Raddatz

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