Million Dollar Question: Will Delta’s “Innovation Lanes” Speed Up TSA Security Screening?

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Earlier this week Delta revealed a gift to the TSA at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport: a pair of security screening lanes Delta calls “Innovation Lanes.” Delta spent over two months and around a million dollars on the Innovation Lanes which have the goal of speeding up the security screening process in two ways:

  • allowing up to five passengers at a time to step up to the conveyor belt to offload personal items into the bin rather than waiting one-at-a-time
  • feeding screening bins back to travelers underneath the conveyor belt so now TSA agents won’t have to stack them by hand, put them on a cart, and push them back to the other sideScreen Shot 2016-05-29 at 10.27.40 AM

In a marketing video released by Delta, Gil West, Senior Executive V.P. and Chief Operating Officer, suggests the new systems should “double the productivity of every lane.”  However, this new system is only being used in two of the 28 checkpoints in ATL. Many are reporting that this system is already in use in airports throughout Europe.

In the 1 minute and 26 second video released by Delta earlier this week, Delta describes the Innovation Lane more in-depth and said they have “cut through the red tape”:

Bottom Line:

It’s already a busy summer, and increasingly long lines have become the new normal at the nation’s busiest airports. While modifications in the screening process, such as these two new Innovation Lanes, are steps in the right direction, it remains to be seen if the TSA is going to adopt this process.  And if they do – will it be too little, too late? My opinion is that this video makes Delta look like a public relations firm that just happens to fly airplanes.

In the meantime there is always TSA Pre® , which might be able to salvage your summer of standing in long TSA security screening lines. Global Entry also provides you a TSA Pre® number, but with a longer application process.

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  1. It’s not an innovation. This is a direct copy of London Heathrow airport. Amazing to me how DL always gets credit when they copycat others.

  2. We came through this at LHR in March. But we also were in Delta One and expedited. Doesn’t really seem innovative.

  3. What a joke, Go to LHR, FRA, MXP and you will see same or similar system. Why is the TSA so behind the times, they suck the big one, another government entity that just takes your money and run

  4. I’ve been through these lines in ATL twice now. They are slower when it’s busy than a regular lane. On top of that, you have to wait for a TSA agent to “allow” your bin on the belt which doesn’t seem to be mentioned anywhere. If you’re filling up 2 or more bins (small rollerboard and a laptop bag will do that), it is much worse. Not a fan

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