January 23, 2019– Starting Jan. 23, on Delta flights around the globe boarding zones will be renamed to reflect the branded fare purchased, while still prioritizing customer loyalty.

The new branded boarding order introduces additional boarding groups, encouraging fewer customers to line up in the gate area at any given time and easing crowding during the boarding process. This marks the latest evolution in Delta’s multi-year work to bring consistency, simplicity, clarity and less stress to the gate and boarding experience, efforts that have driven all-time high customer experience scores.

Here’s what customers can expect on day one:

Previous mobile boarding pass

On boarding passes:

  • Customers will see the branded fare purchased, or Sky Priority, on their mobile or printed boarding pass – this indicates their boarding group.

At the gate:

  • Instead of featuring numbered zones on gate screens and signs, and in boarding announcements, customers will see and/or hear the branded fare they purchased or Sky Priority, letting them know it’s time to board.
  • For most customers, their place in the boarding order doesn’t change – the new name simply makes it easier to recognize. SkyMiles Medallion Members* and eligible Delta SkyMiles American Express Credit Card Members will continue to receive priority boarding.
  • Gate area boarding screen

    Customers will also see new color accents distinguishing each of Delta’s fare products and Sky Priority on screens and signage at the gate.

On the Fly Delta app and delta.com:

  • Those same new colors associated with each branded fare will be visible to a small number of customers in the digital shopping experience to start. A gradual roll out to all customers on delta.com and the Fly Delta app in 2019 is in accordance with best practices for large digital changes. And, this phased approach will allow Delta to gather customer feedback for continuous improvements.

Delta.com mobile

Branded boarding builds on Delta’s latest boarding enhancement, the addition of zone 4 in 2018 for Basic Economy customers. This change resulted in better customer satisfaction scores in every zone, with dramatic improvement for the reduced number of customers in zone 3 and double digit improvement for Main Cabin zones.

Delta continues to put boarding under the microscope, looking at new ways to organize and test concepts – such as the use of digital screens instead of static boarding signage, like pillars. To help keep customers informed, the airline has also been a leader in adding larger display screens above the door to Jetways and pushing boarding notifications from the Fly Delta app.

JetBlue continues to lead the industry as the first domestic airline to launch a fully-integrated biometric self-boarding gate for international flights

Latest biometric enhancement builds on the success of the airline’s expanding biometric boarding programs in Boston, New York, Fort Lauderdale and Washington, D.C.

New York | November 15, 2018– JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU), in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), today announced the roll-out of its first fully-integrated biometric self-boarding gate at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Customers flying to select international destinations from Terminal 5 at New York-JFK can now board even faster with a dual lane biometric self-boarding gate, which uses facial recognition technology to verify travelers with a quick photo capture.

JetBlue’s new biometric self-boarding gate comes on the heels of the airline’s successful biometric boarding trials at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and New York-JFK. This week, JetBlue also became the first airline to partner with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to launch a one-step biometric boarding experience for customers flying to Nassau, Bahamas (NAS) from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

Since the program’s launch in 2017, more than 50,000 customers have participated in biometric boarding on 500+ flights across all four cities. There is no pre-registration required. Customers can simply step up to the camera for a photo match and make their way onto the aircraft.

“The success of JetBlue’s biometric boarding program is a testament to the airline’s ongoing work to create a personal, helpful and simple experience,” said Ian Deason, senior vice president of customer experience, JetBlue. “The boarding touchpoint is an area that needs innovation and we feel biometrics will change the future of air travel as we look to create a more seamless journey throughout the airport.”

This latest biometric enhancement complements JetBlue’s existing self-service efforts, including self-service lobbies with interactive kiosks that feature self-bag tag and self-bag drop capabilities. The airline plans to expand its biometric boarding program to more international flights from New York-JFK, Boston and Fort Lauderdale, and expects to pilot a biometric bag drop station at New York-JFK early next year.

SITA automated boarding gates speed passengers through boarding using secure biometrics

Orlando, Florida | March 8, 2018– Passengers flying with British Airways from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to London Gatwick are enjoying a secure and seamless departure with new biometric boarding at the gate. A quick photo is all that is needed to board the international flight – no passport, no boarding card – thanks to innovative technology. SITA, the global air transport IT provider, integrated automated boarding gates with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and airline’s IT systems to allow the necessary checks and authorize boarding.

This is a joint initiative by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), British Airways and CBP to incorporate the US biometric departure (exit) check for passengers as smoothly as possible. SITA, using its extensive airline and airport expertise, has ensured fast and easy implementation for the airport and airline. By merging the usual boarding procedures with the CBP biometric exit check, SITA is delivering a smooth experience for passengers.  A quick photograph taken at the gate is used to confirm passengers’ identities and authorization to travel.

John Newsome, Chief Information Officer, GOAA, said: “This innovative boarding process is already proving popular with passengers. They simply look at the camera and within seconds the gate opens and they can board the flight. It is easy, fast and most importantly, secure. While we are currently using SITA’s gates for biometric exit with British Airways, they are common-use boarding gates so they can be easily used by other airlines at MCO.”

Raoul Cooper, Digital Airport Design Manager, British Airways, said: “Our customers are always our first priority and we want to make their journey as smooth as possible. Working closely with SITA at Orlando has allowed us to explore various ways of incorporating the US biometric exit check.  Together we have designed a really smooth and secure departure process for our customers, including children, as they leave Orlando. This complements the learning and insight we have gained in Los Angeles where a similar technology trial is under way.”

The option to board at Orlando by simply looking into a camera is available now to British Airways passengers on flight BA 2036 to London Gatwick. The trial will run for up to 90 days. Participation is optional and passengers can choose to provide their passport and other documents to an agent to board the flight. During the early days of the trial, the response from passengers has been very positive with nearly 100% of passengers opting to simply look in the camera and board the plane.

Diana Einterz, SITA President, Americas, said: “We are working closely with the US CBP, airlines and airports to test different ways of doing the US biometric exit check. This includes our recent award-winning work with JetBlue at Boston Logan International Airport, and British Airways at Los Angeles International Airport. We have designed this solution to meet the needs of all parties. It is based on industry-standard common-use gates so it can be used by any other airline at Orlando and by airlines at any other common-use airport.”

The use of biometrics is growing globally and SITA is a world-leader using biometrics to deliver secure seamless journeys for airline passengers. SITA Smart Path, which is in use in Brisbane Airport, Australia, provides a walkthrough experience from check-in to the aircraft door helping passengers fast-track through the airport.

SITA provides self-service solutions at every step of the passenger journey from check-in to boarding at airports across the world. More than 165 airlines use SITA’s passenger processing applications while its common-use systems board more than 100 million passengers per year. Today, SITA provides border management solutions to more than 40 governments across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Einterz added: “SITA is the global provider to the air transport industry and we develop our solutions for airlines and airports so that they are scalable and work in multiple environments worldwide. Our integration of the automated boarding gates is being investigated with US CBP, British Airways and Orlando International Airport for speed and efficiency of passenger processing as they do accurate border checks. Our performance analysis of this trial will help all our partners evaluate how best they can use biometrics to meet their individual operational needs.”

  • Passenger experience improvements the goal for airport’s trial

Melbourne | June 7, 2016– Melbourne Airport continues to improve passenger services with a recent trial that has included self-service boarding with global travel technology provider SITA. The airport is focusing on using technology in new ways to improve processes to make the journey smoother for its passengers and the airlines that serve them.

Melbourne Airport’s passenger improvements are underpinned by SITA’s common-use platform, which has successfully delivered self-service check-in kiosks and automated bag drop throughout the airport. The self-boarding gates are the next step in delivering a highly efficient self-service passenger experience and reducing the cost of operations for the airlines using the airport. This is one of the six areas of a passenger’s airport journey in IATA’s Fast Travel program which aims to save the industry up to US$2 billion annually.

Over a three-month period, SITA worked with the airport to analyze the potential improvements that self-boarding gates can provide. Together, SITA and Melbourne Airport have implemented a self-boarding gate in T2 International which allows passengers to simply scan their boarding pass to gain access to the aircraft. Speed of processing, passenger perception and accuracy will be measured as the airport evaluates the benefits that self-service boarding offers passengers, airlines and Melbourne Airport.

Ilya Gutlin, SITA President, Asia Pacific, said: “SITA is committed to our technology partnership with Melbourne Airport which allows us to explore the potential benefits of services and plan the ideal solution implementation with the airport team. Moving forward, we are exploring how technology and innovative services can further improve the passenger experience and operations at Melbourne Airport.”

Initial results of the self-boarding trial are positive with passengers showing strong interest and approval of boarding the aircraft by scanning their own boarding pass. The final results will now be analyzed by the SITA and Melbourne Airport teams.

This initiative is part of the overall airport development to enhance the experience for the 30 international airlines and more than 32 million passengers who currently use it.

“As Melbourne Airport focuses on optimizing the efficient use of assets, technology and innovation play an increasing role in providing better customer service,” Melbourne Airport Executive Planning Michael Jarvis said.

“Working closely with expert vendors and service providers, like SITA, facilitates the testing of world-class solutions at Melbourne Airport and allows our passengers to be among the first to experience leading-edge technology that will improve their experience.”

Passenger numbers are expected to double to 60 million by 2030.