After warning earlier this year that passengers should expect airport security wait times as long as two hours, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been under pressure to improve their process.
A solution tested in Atlanta has shown promise, and TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger announced Wednesday that the technology, which involves further automating security lines, will be rolled out to more airports by the end of the year.
Up to 60 automated security lanes are coming to major airports: The new system permits up to five passengers to place their bags on a conveyor belt, allowing travelers with less luggage to move through metal-detectors or full-body scanners more quickly.
The technology has decreased wait times by about 30 percent at airports (like London Heathrow) where it is in place.
“If you’re to the right or left of the person who is taking time, you can cycle in when you’re ready,” said Neffenger.
“One passenger was so excited after they went through, they hugged one of the Transportation Security officers and said, ‘This is one of the most amazing experiences of my life,’” Neffenger added. “It shows you how bad it was before.”
The aiports that will receive the automated technology have not been named yet. But two lanes have already opened in Atlanta, while more are expected at Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Miami airports.