Testing A Fast Lane At Airport Security
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"Flying today is kind of a pain in the you-know-what," one traveler said. Another said: "We've been in line a long time."
Long security lines, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports … and short tempers.
"I kind of know what I'm doing, and I'm always running late," a business traveler said.
Others are loaded down with carry-ons of every kind.
Liz Sanders was heading to Dallas.
"We're here to travel, and just because you have kids you shouldn't give up your ability to travel," Sanders said.
With or without kids, travelers need patience.
Last year, the maximum security line wait at major airports was at least 38 minutes; 150 minutes in Denver; 120 minutes at New York's JFK; 89 in Los Angeles.
So the TSA has been trying something new in Salt Lake City and Denver: Separating passengers based on how long it takes them to get through security.
It's called the Black Diamond Program: three lines based on expertise - just like on the ski slopes.
There's a green line for families and a blue line for casual travelers. The black diamond is for those who can zip right through.
"Are you happy are you that all the families and kids are far over there?" Tracy asked one black diamond lane passenger.
"Wonderful," the passenger said.
With this new approach, passengers get to decide which level of traveler they are … nobody is forced into the family line but the folks running security say most people are choosing correctly and that's cut wait times in Salt Lake City by 35 percent.
That's six minutes, and it makes a difference.
"It's been much calmer for passengers," said Earl Morris. "They don't feel that anxiety."
"It doesn't inconvenience other travelers who might be able to get through faster than we do," said Liz Sanders.
TSA is expanding the program to six more airports soon, including Boston next week. Not everyone sold on the idea.
"It seems slower to me than normal," one passenger said.
TSA hopes passengers will eventually get on board.
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