Most travelers agree that the worst part about traveling is the security line at the airport. United Airlines heard the complaints and decided to make travel a little less stressful for flyers this year by introducing new partially automated security screening lanes at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
Wait times at O’Hare Airport’s security stretched to over two hours at some points during last year’s holiday season, frustrating airport personnel and passengers alike.
To resolve the issue, United worked with the Transportation Security Administration to create and launch a new TSA Precheck security checkpoint in the airport.
The airline has already launched this technology at its Los Angeles location and has plans to bring it to other airports across the country in the future.
The new, partially automated security system works in a way similar to cafeteria conveyor belts that carry away dirty dishes. These new lanes allow up to five passengers to fill their bins at the same time and then proceed through the screening process.
United said that the conveyor belt automatically returns empty bins to the start of the conveyor belt, making the process faster for everyone involved.
United has also said that these partially automated lanes have reduced screening times by up to 30%.
However, United isn’t the only company making waves in the airport.
There are numerous technologically-improved security operations, and pat-down robots have just been added to the list.
A recent survey has revealed that residents from the U.S. and the UK believe that human security operations like frisking will be completed by robots in the future.
While robots can’t respond to the 38 million alarm activations that occur every year, they can carry out simple tasks like patting down passengers in security lines at airports.
In fact, SITA’s Passenger IT trends report reveals that travelers prefer machines to human interaction both in the airport and during the booking experience.
United’s automated security lanes are a big step, but there are certainly more big steps to be taken in the future of airport security.