BER Airport

Checkpoint reservations go global

Long – sometimes very long – checkpoint security lines are back at airports in the United States and around the world.

That’s why the convenience reporter is a big fan of any program that gets travelers through the lines faster. With the least amount of hassle. And for free.

Paid programs such as TSA Precheck or CLEAR get you on shorter, expedited lines. And we’re big fans of those programs.

But at an increasing number of airports, there are free programs in place that allow travelers to make a reservation for the security checkpoint line.

Airports where you can make a checkpoint reservation

The list includes the Spot Saver program at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA); the PHX Reserve program at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX); the DFW Security Fast Pass program at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) ; the LAX Fast Lane at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX); and the EWR Virtual Line at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

Other programs include t; the MCO Reserve line at Orlando International Airport (MCO); and the JFK Reserve line for Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

In Canada, the YYC Express program expedites the security checkpoint experience at Calgary International Airport (YYC).

CLEAR operates many of these free programs with its virtual queuing technology. And now the option to reserve a time to go through the airport checkpoint has spread to Europe.

BER Runway, at Germany’s Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), now allows travelers to plan ahead and reserve a dedicated security time slot.

Here’s how the program works:

On an airport’s app or website, enter your flight information, the number of travelers in your group, and the time slot during which you’d like to go through security. At BER and most participating airports, slots can be reserved as far ahead as 72 hours before a flight. In some airports, it is also possible to reserve a slot when you arrive at the airport.

Then, show up at the dedicated checkpoint lane at the time you’ve reserved. Show the QR you received with your completed reservation. Then go through security without waiting in a very long line.

In BER and other airport, the programs may operate during limited times, in specific terminals. If you’ve got TSA PreCheck or the paid CLEAR service, you don’t need this service.

Souvenir Sunday at the unopened BER Airport

For an ever-lengthening list of reasons, including what seems to be varying levels of corruption, wild ineptitude and just run of the mill construction issues, the Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which was originally set to open in 2012, is still unfinished.


When will it open? No one seems to know. And, now that multiple opening dates have been missed, no one seems willing to even give it a guess.

And while no one can fly to or from BER Airport, bus tour of the grounds are offered, in German only, several times a week.

I went along for one of these rides and will be working up a longer report shortly. But, because this is Souvenir Sunday here at, I wanted to share some of the souvenirs I bought at the information station at the base of the viewing tower on airport grounds.

While there was a display case that showed a variety of BER-themed items, including caps,t-shirts, an inflatable ball, a lanyard, a tote bag and a tiny lunch box, the gals at the front desk seems surprised – almost shocked – when I said I wanted to buy a half dozen items.

Purchases seemed to be so rare that they couldn’t figure out how to run my credit card through the machine and, had it not been for the 27 Euros in cash my translator loaned me, I wouldn’t have been able to take home what I’m sure are already quite collectible souvenirs.


The little bear is cute. The tiny lunch box? Adorable. But I think my favorite BER souvenir is the tote bag with the image of the airplane made up of food, drink and activities BER passengers will have to wait a long time to enjoy.