The uptick in air travel brings with it an uptick in airport security wait times. So airports around the country are getting creative in testing new ways to keep those lines from getting out of hand.
You may remember our story about the “Spot Saver” program Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is piloting this summer that allows passengers to reserve a time to go through the security checkpoint.
The “virtual queuing” test at SEA runs through August 31, 20201 from 4 a.m. to noon (the airport’s peak travel period). The program gives passengers who have neither TSA Pre-Check nor CLEAR memberships a way to streamline their security checkpoint experience by getting an appointment time (with a 15-minute window) to access the security line.
There is no fee to use the program, which is set up at two SEA checkpoints and open to all passengers.
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) is testing a similar program
At Boston Logan, the test is running through July 7 in Terminal B, from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The program at BOS is in partnership with the accesso, a company that provides virtual queuing for theme parks and attractions around the world. At BOS, the Virtual Security Line lets passengers use their mobile devices to reserve a spot in the line. They are then notified (with a countdown clock) when it is their time to approach the checkpoint, get their QR code scanned, and enter the checkpoint line.
We hope these test programs work out and convince these and other airports to make virtual cueing for checkpoint times a permanent amenity.
In the meantime, keep in mind that security checkpoint lines are usually longer in the summer. But now we have physical distancing, out-of-practice travelers, and lots more nervous travelers, so be sure to pack your patience when you head to the airport now.