With COVID numbers dropping, more and more people are traveling. Many airports are reporting record numbers of passengers. Of course, with several countries removing COVID-related obstacles such as vaccinations, testing, etc., those numbers are only going to increase.
More people flying means longer lines at the TSA security kiosks, so airport administrators, as well as CLEAR, are looking at ways to decrease the crowds and bottlenecks.
Several airports – specifically those in Florida, New York City, California, Texas, Washington and Massachusetts have introduced pilot programs over the past few months that allow passengers to make a reservation to go the TSA checkpoint, instead of having to stand in line. Click here for details for the participating airports in each of those states.
That post above, as you saw, was from late December, 2021. Here are updates since:
CLEAR’s pilot program at this airport, which began in November (here’s more info about it), continues. As of this writing, no end date has been announced.
New York City
Both programs continue.
NEW! Please note the program that was charging for reservations now has a cheaper option (follow the link from here to learn more about it).
The pilot program was supposed to end on January 18th, but is apparently still running for travelers using Terminals 7 and 8.
NEW! Reservations and walk-in appointments are available for departing and general screening passengers daily from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the TSA checkpoint for Terminal 7.
Although this pilot began in September, it’s apparently still running, with no end in sight. They’re still using Sign Up Genius, which I think is adorable.
An airport in the state of Washington, after a trial run that started in May 2021, was the first one in the country to make signups for their TSA queues permanent, back in September, 2021. Not surprisingly, the program is still going strong.
NEW! Program hours have changed slightly. Instead of 5am to 1pm, they’re now 4:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
One airport in Massachusetts ran a virtual security line pilot program from April to July of last year. They’ve done nothing with their TSA queues ever since. Their airport’s website suggests that, “TSA wait times can be cut down considerably if you participate in the TSA Pre [sic] program.” Sorry, Bay Staters! 🙁
Effective March 1, passengers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the state’s largest airport, have their own way to skip the TSA lines, with a pilot program called PHX Reserve.
Passengers can make an appointment with PHX Reserve up to three days before their flight. Travelers who use the program still go through the regular security process, not the expedited one that TSA PreCheck offers. But it’s still a shorter wait.
The service is free to all passengers and you don’t have to create an account or purchase a membership to use the program. Reservations and walk-in appointments (as available) are available for departing and general screening passengers daily from 4 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the TSA checkpoint.
You can learn more about PHX Reserve on this page of PHX’s website.
For the time being, the program is available only in Terminal 3. The airport hopes to expand it to Terminal 4 in the not-too-distant future.
No end date of the pilot has been announced.
Feature Photo: oddharmonic / flickr
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