Lines at the airport are the worst in the country, averaging over 90 minutes during peak hours, and nearing five hours on some occasions. Automated machines can shed 40 percent off of waiting times to clear customs, and at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport—the only U.S. airport to already have such machines—interview times with Customs officers have been halved to 30 seconds.
Delta views the new automated machines as a step in the right direction, says spokesperson Leslie Scott. She hopes the airline's contribution—whose price is undisclosed—will spur increased staffing, especially at peak times for international arrivals.
“It's one remedy and it will help, but there's more to be done,” Scott explains.
The new machines should be up and running by October 7th.
Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure, and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.