Skip to main content

TSA-operated security lines could see cut-down wait times

Will this lead to shorter security wait times?

TSA
Simone Hogan / Shutterstock

We’ve all been there- arriving at the airport on a tight deadline only to find endless lines snaking through the security checkpoint. For many, this issue is an unavoidable annoyance, causing stress and delays that can put a damper on the start of any trip. However, relief may be on the horizon as Las Vegas’ airport introduces a groundbreaking trial of self-screening security lanes. This new and improved approach raises a pressing question: do we truly need human employees to man the security lanes, or can technology revolutionize the way we navigate airport security? 

Self-screening TSA: the details

Security check sign in airport
Thaspol Sangsee / Shutterstock

The new self-screening checkpoint lanes have been introduced at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas for a trial period of six months. The new lanes promise a smoother airport security experience. As usual, passengers with TSA PreCheck will not need to take off their shoes or remove electronics from their carry-on bags. However, passengers will receive simple instructions on a screen explaining how they can navigate the checkpoint on their own. Passengers will place their belongings in the bin as usual, but the entire inspection system is fully automated, with no human employees manning the station.

After inspection, the return bin will be cleaned with an ultraviolet light emitter, and passengers will head into a full-body scanner where a video will show them how to pose. TSA branch manager Christina Peach told the Associated Press, “Really, one of the main aims here is to allow individuals to get through the system without necessarily having to interact directly with an officer and … at their own pace.”

The goal of this new system is not only to allow passengers to take their time, but also to allow officers to be placed in other areas of the airport. Currently, it takes around 12 officers to staff two checkpoint lanes. With the self-service lane in place, this number is cut down to eight. The TSA has stated that the officers removed from the security checkpoints would not lose their jobs, but rather be assigned to other tasks. 

During the six-month trial period, the feature is only available to flyers with TSA PreCheck, and instructions are currently only in English. 

How to get TSA PreCheck

If this sounds appealing to you but you do not have TSA PreCheck, signing up is a fairly straightforward process. To enroll, you must complete an online application on the TSA PreCheck website, provide basic personal information, and consent to a background check. 

Following the application, you must schedule an in-person appointment at a TSA PreCheck enrollment center. During this appointment, you will provide additional documentation and undergo a brief interview. Once these steps are completed, you will be required to pay the $85 application fee, and your TSA PreCheck status will remain valid for five years.

A man walking past an airport security station in motion
Sohan Shingade / Unsplash

Will this type of security become standard?

As the TSA rolls out this trial, many people are wondering if this is the future of air travel. As of right now, there is no plan to make this standard in every airport, however, the TSA hopes to expand the trial to other airports shortly.

Editors' Recommendations

Amanda Teague
Amanda, an accomplished freelance writer with four years of experience, is a dedicated explorer of both the world and the…
Why travel experts think you should expect airline tickets to get more expensive
You will likely see an increase in airline prices this summer
Plane

Amid the fallout from the Boeing 737 MAX crisis, there is a looming possibility of airline tickets becoming more expensive. Incidents like the door of an Alaskan Airlines 737 MAX detaching mid-flight have prompted Boeing to slow down the production of this aircraft.

With airlines facing potential delays in receiving their ordered Boeing planes and some carriers like United even halting orders for certain models altogether, the industry braces for a reduction in available aircraft. These delays, compounded by intensive federal investigations into Boeing’s manufacturing processes, may limit the number of planes available to American carriers. Consequently, this reduction in aircraft availability poses a risk of driving up airline prices for travelers.

Read more
How to get TSA PreCheck for free: 3 easy ways
You don't have to pay for TSA PreCheck using these methods
TSA PreCheck sign at airport.

Navigating through airports can often feel like a daunting task, especially when confronted with long security lines that seem to stretch into eternity. But what if there was a way to easily breeze through security checkpoints, avoiding the hassle of removing your shoes, belts, and laptops? Welcome to the world of TSA PreCheck, a game-changer for frequent travelers.

However, TSA PreCheck can be pricey, which leaves many people wondering how they can get this coveted privilege without breaking the bank. This is how to get TSA PreCheck for free.
Sign up for the right credit cards

Read more
The best luxury cruise lines for an extraordinary experience
Consider these luxury cruise lines for your next trip
Luxury cruise ship sailing to port on sunrise

Setting sail on a luxury cruise is a dreamy escape that promises comfort, indulgence, and adventure. If you are thinking about heading out to sea, choosing the right cruise line can make all of the difference. From extravagant amenities and world-class cuisine to personalized service and gorgeous destinations, the best luxury cruise lines redefine the notion of a vacation at sea. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or a blend of both, these are the finest offerings of the high seas. 
The benefits of taking a luxury cruise

The difference between a luxury cruise and a regular cruise extends beyond varying price points. A regular cruise often comes with all of the standard amenities and service levels, while a luxury cruise takes the experience a step further by offering an unparalleled level of opulence and refinement. Luxury cruises often include gourmet dining experiences, unique amenities, and VIP privileges, including priority embarkation and access to exclusive events.

Read more