Tue, Nov 11, 2008
Slower Lines To Reduce Pressure For Infrequent Fliers
Frequent fliers are well-schooled in
the TSA screening drill at airports. But during the holiday season,
airports are suddenly flooded with family vacationers unfamiliar
with the routine.
In an expansion of a successful experiment started earlier this
year by a handful of airports, the Transportation Security
Administration will open "family lanes" at airports nationwide by
Thanksgiving, allowing families to move at their own pace, helped
in some locations by assistants on hand to explain the screening
USA Today reports the new lanes will open at 533 TSA checkpoints
and large and midsize airports nationwide by November 20, in time
for the Thanksgiving holiday. But this is no seasonal program. TSA
plans to make family lanes permanent.
TSA spokeswoman Ellen Howe says checkpoints at the 45 largest
airports will have special scanners to screen large bottles of
"medically necessary" liquids, such as contact-lens solution and
Despite the fact that the family lanes end up moving more slowly
than lines of expert travelers, the agency has found many families
prefer not feeling rushed.
Some airports have expressed concerns that the special lanes
will waste time for business travellers during periods when few
families are travelling, but airport-design consultant Gloria
Bender told the paper TSA will have to monitor checkpoints so empty
family lanes can be used by other passengers.
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