Last week, the Transportation Security Administration expanded a pilot program launched in February that allows travelers to select an airport security lane based on their level of experience with airport regulations.
The three-tier system, called Black-Diamond Self-Select Lanes, launched last month at Salt Lake City’s Terminal 1 and Denver International’s North Checkpoint during peak morning and evening hours. Now, international airports in Boston; Orlando; and Spokane, Wash., also have the program up and running, and at least three more as-yet-unannounced airports will join by the end of April, according to TSA.
The new black diamond, blue square, green circle rating system will be familiar to skiers, who choose slopes using similar ability-level signage: Experienced travelers well versed in the rules on liquids, batteries, shoe removal, and so on are directed to black expert lanes; blue lanes are for casual travelers who understand the system but don’t travel very much; and the slower green lanes are for families and special-needs travelers.
TSA is reporting good results. ”Throughput has increased up to 35 percent during our busiest peak times in the expert lanes at the pilot airports,” says a TSA spokesperson on a TSA-produced blog, Evolution of Security.