LAX and United start virtual queueing trial for security checkpoints


During the 90-day trial, travellers can reserve a 15-minute window to proceed through security in Terminal 7.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) passengers flying out of Terminals 7 and 8 are now able to reserve a time slot to go through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening area through a new pilot programme called LAX Fast Lane. The programme has been rolled out in partnership with the TSA for customers travelling with United Airlines.

During the 90-day trial, travellers can reserve a 15-minute window to proceed through security in Terminal 7. Once a customer has selected their time window, they will receive a QR code that they will show upon arrival at the security checkpoint. They will then be allowed to enter a reserved TSA screening lane.

The service is free of charge and will be available daily from 6:30am to 1pm until 18 January 2022.

“At LAX, we are helping our guests control their journey from their own device, and this new pilot programme leverages technology to provide passengers with a scheduled time to be at the TSA checkpoints,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). “We thank our partners at United Airlines and TSA for their collaboration as we test a service that fits with our digital-first mindset and create a seamless, efficient journey from home to gate.”

Participation in the LAX Fast Lane pilot is optional, and free for all travellers using Terminals 7 and 8. Guests who participate in other trusted traveller programmes, such as TSA PreCheck, however, will not be able to use their benefits in the dedicated lane.

“At United, we’re constantly looking at new offerings for our customers to make navigating travel easier and we expect this to be a useful way to save time for customers, especially those travelling this upcoming holiday season,” said Jonna McGrath, Managing Director of Los Angeles International Airport for United. “We’re thrilled to be the launch airline to work with LAWA and TSA to bring this option to United customers at LAX and in addition to our many other innovations like agent on demand and the travel ready centre, we look forward to making the travel experience with United a breeze.”

Travellers can reserve their time slot up to 24 hours before departure, and must choose a time that is at least one hour before their flight departs.

LAX will gather information on the performance of the system during the pilot, and may modify some aspects during this test phase. In addition to United Airlines and the TSA, partners in the pilot include Whyline Inc., Pangiam Labs and Copenhagen Optimization.

In recent months, a number of airports have trialled virtual queuing technology to create more streamlined security check processes, while also minimising crowding as COVID-19 continues to be a concern. This summer, Boston Logan and Seattle-Tacoma were among airports in the US to trial the technology for TSA security checkpoints. Seattle-Tacoma shared results from the trial, saying that the system has dramatically exceeded expectations, with overall wait times reduced to 10 minutes.

The upcoming FTE Global show in Las Vegas on 7-9 December will include an interactive workshop on virtual queuing, which will be led by Dave Wilson, Director, Airport Innovation, Port of Seattle, who will share some of the main lessons learned from the trial of the technology at Sea-Tac. Find out more here and register today!

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