TSA and American Airlines to launch new checkpoints to cut wait times up to 30%

The Transportation Security Administration has teamed up with American Airlines to test out new security checkpoint lines in Los Angeles and three other airports with the hope of cutting wait times by 30%.

By the fall, the TSA and American Airlines plan to open at least two new lines at each of the following airports: Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Miami International Airport.

The Fort Worth-based carrier is spending $5 million on the new checkpoints.

The new checkpoints are similar to two new TSA lanes designed and funded by Delta Air Lines in May in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.


American and Delta have announced the new efforts to cut waiting times as frustration grows among airline passengers over long airport queues as the country begins what is forecast to be a record travel season.

The new lanes proposed for LAX and the three other airports speed up the queue by using two conveyor belts, one that sends empty plastic bins to waiting passengers and a second that moves those bins, loaded with passengers’ shoes, belts, carry-on bags and other items toward the X-ray machines.

The new system also allows the line of passengers to continue moving through the checkpoint even when a flier in the queue is moving slow or is selected for extra screening.

“To ensure that we remain up to date in an evolving threat environment, TSA continues to test and deploy state-of-the-art technologies,” TSA administrator Peter V. Neffenger said in a statement.

In addition to launching the new checkpoints, American Airlines will begin testing later this year the use of computer tomography to scan carry-on bags, allowing passengers to keep laptops, liquids and gels in the bags during screening.

CT scans, now used to screen checked bags, can create detailed 3-D images of the contents in carry-on bags to “enhance security effectiveness and efficiency, while improving the customer experience,” said American Airlines Chief Operating Officer Robert Isom.

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