AIrport self-select security lanes debut today

DavidJoles,StarTribunefile
TravelerslinedupatasecuritygateatMinneapolisSt.PaulInternationalAirport.

Inthenameofspeedandefficiency,Minneapolis-St.PaulInternationalAirportbeginningtodaywillallowpassengerstoself-selectasecuritylane:experttravelers,casualtravelersand--intheslowlane--families.
ByLIZFEDOR,StarTribune
Lastupdate:May16,2008-8:27AM

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Inthenameofspeedandefficiency,Minneapolis-St.PaulInternationalAirportbeginningtodaywillallowpassengerstoself-selectasecuritylane:experttravelers,casualtravelersand--intheslowlane--families.

Justoneoftheairport'ssixsecuritycheckpointswilltesttheprogram,whichwasfirsttriedintwocitiesearlierthisyearandhasalreadyexpandedtomorethanadozenairports.Passengersgettochoosethelanethemselves.

"Theexpertlaneisforfrequentfliersandthosewhoareveryfamiliarwithourscreeningprocedures,"saidCarrieHarmon,spokeswomanfortheTransportationSecurityAdministration(TSA).
Whilefrequentfliersknowalloftherulesandwanttomoveasrapidlyaspossiblethroughsecurity,manyparentstravelingwithsmallchildrenneedmoretimetofoldstrollersandgetlotsofshoesoffandon.

"Weheardfromexperttravelersthatit'ssometimesstressfulforthemtobebehindpeoplewhoarenotsofamiliarwiththescreeningprocess,"Harmonsaid.

Inaddition,shesaid,somefamilies"appreciatealanewheretheydon'tfeelpressuredtogetthroughasquicklyandcangetspecialassistance."

Borrowingphrasesandiconsfromtheskislopes,theTSAhasdubbedthelinesforexperttravelersastheblack-diamondlanes.
Thisnewapproach,wherepassengersselectlanesbasedonthetypesoftravelers,wasfirsttestedinDenverandSaltLakeCity.AfterbeingintroducedinFebruary,thepracticehasbeenexpandedforuseatallcheckpointsatthoseairports,Harmonsaid.

Morethanadozenairportsareusingthenewlanes.Harmonsaidsomeairportshaveeliminatedthecasual-travelerlane--orblueinthatskislopelingo--andarejustusingtheexpertandfamilylanes.

Thenewlanechoicesaredesignedtocreateacalmerenvironment,Harmonsaid.

PatrickHogan,aspokesmanfortheMetropolitanAirportsCommission,saidMSPairportofficialshopethelaneswillmakethesecurityprocessmoreefficientforlocaltravelers."Everyairportisconfiguredalittledifferently,sowhatworksatoneairportdoesn'tnecessarilyworkatanother,"hesaid.

LizFedor•612-673-7709


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