Lonely Planet Writer

Delta Airlines helps travellers jump the security line with new automated checkpoints

If there’s one thing all US travellers have in common, it’s a shared frustration  for TSA’s infamously long security lines. Weary travellers even have their own hashtag, #ihatethewait, so they can vent their frustrations as they stand in line.

As American Airlines reports that already 70,000 travellers have missed their flights this year due to long security waits, Delta Airlines may have just found the solution.

The Atlanta based airline has paid for and installed two new, innovative security checkpoints at their hometown airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International.

Talking to CNBC, Delta Airlines COO, Gil West, states that the new checkpoints have improved productivity by 30%, and they hope the new system will eventually double the throughput.

Rather than using the traditional series approach to screening, where one slow traveller or security alarm holds up the entire line, these better designed checkpoints streamline the process via five different stations that work independently and an automated conveyor belt system.

The system removes the need for travellers to wait in line or push their tray to the scanner themselves. They simply unload their possessions, push the tray onto the automated belt, then pass through security. This allows faster travellers to drop off their bags without having to wait behind a person that’s taking their time.

If a bag sets off the security alarm, the conveyor belt moves it to the inspection area without holding up other bags around it. TSA agents remain free to carry on screening bags and the system continues to flow.

According to Delta, these new checkpoints cost $1 million to build and were designed and implemented in less than two months. CBS Evening News report that the system is already being tested in London and Amsterdam.