Delta says it will soon operate the first “biometric terminal” in the US, with facial recognition technology used to identify travellers at every step from check-in to boarding.

Starting later this year, Delta will offer the 2.2 million passengers who annually transit Terminal F at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport the option of biometric identification to check into their flights, drop off checked baggage, pass through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, board flights, and — when returning to the US – clear customs.

Travellers on other airlines that use the terminal, including Aeromexico, Air France-KLM, and Virgin Atlantic Airways, also will have the option of using their face as ID rather than a passport or driver’s license.

“Launching the first biometric terminal in the US at the world’s busiest airport means we’re bringing the future of flying to customers travelling around the globe,” said Gil West, Delta’s chief operating officer.

“Customers have an expectation that experiences along their journey are easy and happen seamlessly — that’s what we’re aiming for by launching this technology across airport touch points.”

Atlanta won’t be the first US airport to use biometrics. For example, Orlando International Airport has been testing the technology in partnership with British Airways since earlier this year, using facial recognition to identify international travellers.