March 16 2021  |  Airline & Terminal News

Delta debuts contactless payment onboard

By Jane Hobson

Delta is continuing to invest in touchless and contactless features with the introduction of its tap-to-pay technology today. The feature enables contactless payment for onboard purchases. Passengers can purchase earbuds using mobile devices or tap-enabled credit cards. Contactless payment will expand to all onboard sales as more food and beverage options return. The new system also allows for emailed receipts.

“At Delta, we think big, start small and scale fast to improve the experience for our customers,” said Bill Lentsch, Chief Customer Experience Officer. “Not only will these new features provide peace of mind in the pandemic era by reducing touchpoints, they’re a key element of our vision for easing every step of the travel journey.”

The airline is also testing digital seatback menus on select international flights with plans to expand the feature across its fleet. An electronic Delta One menu, currently accessible via personal seatback screens on A330-operated flights between Boston and Amsterdam, will reduce waste, streamline service and allow flight attendants to connect with customers more safely.

Delta passengers can use a touchless check-in experience using the Fly Delta App, with more features to take the guesswork out of travel coming soon via the digital concierge. In onboard lavatories, touchless faucets, flush levers and waste lids reduce touchpoints on the high-use surfaces while anti-microbial lighting for sinks and countertops provides added protection. These solutions are in place on many Delta aircraft, including the A350, A330-900, 767-400 and 757. Other aircraft types will be retrofitted with some of these features later this year.

The airline is also expanding touchless features to help move travelers through the airport faster and more easily. In partnership with Transportation Security Administration, Delta recently launched its first facial recognition option for domestic travelers in Detroit to help move customers through the Edward H. McNamara Terminal’s dedicated TSA PreCheck domestic checkpoint. This builds on Delta’s existing facial recognition option for any customer traveling to an international destination from DTW.

The addition of contactless payment options comes as Delta continues to ensure a safe experience with blocked middle seats and limiting onboard capacity for flights departing through April 2021, requiring masks through the travel journey, and replacing onboard industrial-grade HEPA filters twice as often as recommended.

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