business trip

Delta Readies ‘Digital Identity’ Experience for Atlanta


Facial-recognition equipment at the gate conducts a scan to let the passenger through, without the need to show identification or a boarding pass.
Facial-recognition equipment at the gate conducts a scan to let the passenger through, without the need to show identification or a boarding pass.

Many of Delta Air Lines’ domestic passengers soon will have the option to traverse the airport using a “digital identity:” a combination of their SkyMiles member number, passport number and Known Traveler Number.

Delta’s new facial-recognition-powered path in Atlanta, developed in partnership with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, includes a dedicated bag-drop area away from the general check-in area, on the lower level of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport near the rideshare drop-off area. There, self-serve kiosks confirm passengers’ identity with a facial scan and print out bag tags, which passengers can attach to their bags, then load them onto a conveyer belt.

From there, passengers can pass through the security checkpoint that has a second camera to perform the facial scan. A third piece of equipment at the gate conducts another facial scan to let the passenger through, without the need to show identifications or boarding passes at any point.

To participate, travelers must be members of both Delta’s SkyMiles program and the TSA’s PreCheck program. About a quarter of Delta’s Atlanta-based flyers currently are members of both, Delta managing director of airport experience Greg Forbes said. Those passengers will have the choice to opt in when checking in through the Delta app, an option that will reappear each trip from Atlanta.

Throughout the airport journey, those passengers will have the option to follow whichever path they like, Forbes said. If they are members of Clear, which uses biometric identifiers like fingerprint and iris scans, they still can use that line, for example. Staff is on hand throughout all aspects of the process in case there’s a snag with the technology.

Ultimately, however, TSA sees facial recognition as a much more effective method of security than standard ID checks, Forbes said. “It’s much harder to fool facial recognition than it is to counterfeit a driver’s license,” he said.

Delta has been working on its biometric technology for several years, including its similar program in Detroit that soon will have its own dedicated bag-drop area as well, and is working on expanding to more of its hubs. Delta VP of brand experience design Byron Merritt said facial recognition was a “fundamental capability,” similar to Wi-Fi on an aircraft, that will open up other passenger experience opportunities in the future, such as lounge access.

“Having the ability for a customer to move more seamlessly through the airport is going to unlock a better way to being able to serve you more broadly,” Merritt said.



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American, United, Delta, Alaska impacted


One of America’s largest regional carriers, SkyWest Airlines, has canceled hundreds of flights two days in a row, and it’s not the only airline impacted.

The Utah-based carrier operates flights for American, Delta, United and Alaska airlines.

“SkyWest experienced an internal technical issue, resulting in approximately 700 flight cancellations before the issue was resolved Thursday evening,” SkyWest told USA TODAY in a statement. “We apologize to customers for the inconvenience; we are working to minimize the impact on Friday’s schedule and to return to normal operations as quickly as possible.” 

The airline said it continued to experience operational disruptions Friday as it worked to get crew and aircraft into position. By Friday evening, more than 650 SkyWest flights were canceled, according to FlightAware, which tracks flight cancellations and delays in real time.

►Airline cancel or delay your flight?: Here’s what you’re owed (and how to get it)

►What travel insurance actually covers: How it may or may not protect your next trip

United Airlines’ website had said the issue was a server outage at SkyWest.

Delta Air Lines told USA TODAY, “Our technical teams engaged with SkyWest IT to resolve the issue and minimize the impact on our customers. We are working with customers directly to accommodate them to their destination as soon as possible and apologize for the inconvenience.”

Roughly 170 of American Airlines’ flights were impacted Thursday and about 50 more were affected Friday, the airline told USA TODAY, adding that it’s been working to re-accommodate passengers and provide hotel vouchers as needed.

Alaska Airlines told USA TODAY that 80 of its flights were canceled Thursday and 53 were canceled Friday, though more were possible. “We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused for our guests,” the airline said. “We’re providing services to them as we work to get impacted travelers to their destinations as quickly as possible.”

According to its website, SkyWest serves 236 destinations across North America, and it carried 43 million passengers in 2019. 

Travelers are advised to check their flight status before leaving for the airport and to reach out to their airline if their flights have been canceled or delayed. 



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Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Another Aucklander charged in Wanaka


A string of Aucklanders have been charged for breaching lockdown rules by travelling to the Southern Lakes. Photo / Supplied

An Auckland man will appear in the Queenstown District Court on Tuesday on a charge of breaching Covid-19 travel restrictions by travelling to Wanaka.

The 41-year-old, who was arrested in Wanaka yesterday, was remanded in custody this morning without appearing in court.

Queenstown police area response manager Senior Sergeant Glenn Wilkinson said the arrest followed a tip-off.

The man departed Auckland some time earlier this month, Sen Sgt Wilkinson said.

The charge follows a string of alleged breachers keen to swap lockdown life in Auckland for the vistas of Queenstown and Wanaka.

Among the breachers are a man travelled from Whangarei to Queenstown via Wellington earlier this month without the correct documentation to travel under Alert Level 3 restrictions.

Auckland couple William Willis and Hannah Rawnsley admitted using essential worker exemptions to travel to a holiday home in Wanaka last month and police are investigating whether an Auckland woman illegally travelled to Queenstown in September.

Last week Queenstown property developer Min Yang (41), who travelled from Auckland to Christchurch in September and subsequently to Queenstown, pleaded not guilty to a charge of intentionally failing to comply with an order made under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act by leaving an Alert Level 4 area and travelling to an Alert Level 2 area without just cause or authority.

Covid



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business trip

Delta Names New VP for EMEA, India


Delta Air Lines has named Aeromexico executive Nicolas Ferri as VP of the Europe, Middle East, Africa and India region, where he will oversee the carrier’s commercial and customer experience strategy, Delta announced.

Ferri since 2019 has been Aeromexico’s chief commercial officer and previously worked with Delta for a decade in the carrier’s alliances, international and commercial divisions. In his new role, he will work closely with Delta’s joint venture partners in Europe, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic, and will lead “our regional efforts as the U.S. reopens to international travel,” Ferri said in a statement.

Ferri starts in his new role on Nov. 1.



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Delta appoints VP for EMEA and India


Nicolas Ferri
Nicolas Ferri

Delta Air Lines has appointed Nicolas Ferri as vice
president for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India, effective 1 November.

Based in Paris, Ferri will oversee strategic commercial and
customer experience initiatives in the region, working closely with Delta’s
European joint venture partners Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic, as the
airline focuses on rebuilding its transatlantic network.

Prior to this appointment, Ferri has served as chief
commercial officer at Delta’s partner carrier Aeromexico since August 2019. He
has been with Delta for 10 years and in addition to his secondment to
Aeromexico, he previously held roles such as vice president of Latin America
and vice president of alliances in the Americas.

Ferri is fluents in English, French, Spanish, German and
Portuguese.

Alain Bellemare, president – international at Delta, said: “…Nicolas’
vast international and alliances experience will be vital to our continued
success as demand picks up and we reopen travel corridors across the region. With
customers returning to the skies, we look ahead to 2022 and the rebuilding of
our international portfolio with optimism.”

Ferri commented: “It’s a pivotal moment joining the EMEAI
team and leading our regional efforts as the US reopens to international travel.
I’m looking forward to meeting our customers and working closely with our
partners to grow our business and build on Delta/Air France/KLM/Virgin Atlantic’s
leading transatlantic joint venture.”



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Ferri takes up new leadership role with Delta | News


Delta Air Lines has appointed Nicolas Ferri to the role of vice president, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.

He will take up the role on November 1st.

Based in Paris, he will oversee key strategic commercial and customer experience initiatives in the region, working closely with Delta’s European joint venture partners Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic, as the airline focuses on rebuilding its trans-Atlantic network.

“Delta is the preferred carrier across the Atlantic and Nicolas’ vast international and alliances experience will be vital to our continued success as demand picks up and we reopen travel corridors across the region,” said Alain Bellemare, Delta president, international.

“With customers returning to the skies, we look ahead to 2022 and the rebuilding of our international portfolio with optimism.”

Prior to his appointment, Ferri has served as chief commercial officer at Delta’s partner, Aeromexico since August 2019.

Ferri has been with Delta for ten years, serving in leadership roles across the airline’s alliances, international and commercial divisions.





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business trip

Delta to Add 100 Daily Departures Out of NYC


Delta Air Lines this fall will increase its capacity out of New York City by 25 percent compared with the summer, with 100 additional daily departures out of LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The capacity is meant “to meet the significant demand for business and international travel going into next year,” according to Delta SVP of network planning Joe Esposito. Last week, the carrier reported that business travel demand had been growing since Labor Day, reaching just under 50 percent of pre-Covid-19 levels earlier this month.

The additional capacity will include “meaningful boosts” in frequencies to Boston; Washington’s Reagan National Airport; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Charlotte, N.C., according to Delta. The carrier recently launched to Toronto from LaGuardia and will add new service to Worcester, Mass., from LaGuardia on Nov. 1.

International capacity also will increase in the coming months, with frequencies to Paris and London each doubled to twice a day and service to Dublin increased to daily on Dec. 6. In addition, Delta will resume direct service to Lagos three times per week on Dec. 7, resume nonstop service to Frankfurt on Dec. 13 and add a second daily flight to Tel Aviv on Dec. 18.

Delta’s capacity to Latin America and the Caribbean from New York will be 85 percent of pre-Covid-19 levels, with 20 daily flights to 18 destinations. That includes resuming service to both São Paulo, Brazil, and Los Cabos, Mexico, on Dec. 19, and increased service to both St. Thomas and St. Martin. The carrier also will launch new service from JFK to Panama City, Panama, on Dec. 20.

Delta announced a large expansion out of Boston earlier this month. It is facing increased competition in both markets from the new American Airlines/JetBlue alliance, though the alliance is currently facing a challenge from the U.S. Justice Department.



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Delta Air Lines really doesn’t want to call the delta variant the ’delta variant’


“First, it is clear that the communication team wants to emphasize the distinction of the company from the current health crisis,” he said. “Second, they are implicitly conveying to employees and consumers alike that they are taking the situation seriously, including how they distinguish their company name from the current variant.”



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Should travelers avoid Mexico as delta surges? For locals who need them, it’s complicated. – The Washington Post



Should travelers avoid Mexico as delta surges? For locals who need them, it’s complicated.  The Washington Post



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