TSA offering $15,000 for best airport security line idea
Alex Cabrero, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Airports are all about waiting: waiting to pick somebody up, waiting to be picked up, waiting in line for your ticket, waiting to give up your luggage.
"It's a lot of waiting,” said Brandon Luhmann, a Texas man waiting at Salt Lake City International Airport Tuesday. "Some airports it's parking. Other airports, it's trying to find your gate. Some airports, it's security."
Sometimes those security lines can seem like the longest wait of them all.
"It's kind of frustrating, especially when you just want to get where you're going,” said Brigham City resident Jody Jensen. “Going through those lines, for me, is the most stressful part.”
Jensen knows security is important, as all people do. However, is there a way to make those security lines faster and shorter?
"I'm sure there can be a better way, but I don't know what that way would be,” Jensen said.
Neither does the Transportation Security Administration.
So, the TSA is asking for help and it is willing to pay someone $15,000 for the best idea on how to improve airport security lines. The TSA is calling it the Next Generation Queue Design and Model.
The new idea should include lines for TSA PreCheck, standard, premier passengers, airport employees, flight crews and wheelchair access passengers.
Luhmann said his idea would be to assign lines based on where people are going, either to a gate or maybe even by geography to their final destination.
“When you buy your ticket, you can try to set it up where you can go to certain lines where people already know where they are headed right away instead of coming to a cluster of people,” Luhmann said.
Bryant Smith said his idea would be to assign security lines based on the number of carry-ons a passenger has.
“If you have a one bag or two bags line, like, if you just have a backpack or one carry-on, you would go in one line. If you have two, you would go in another line. If you have more, you would go in a different line,” said Smith. “That way, if you have only one bag, you don’t have to wait for someone who has a backpack, a baby stroller, coats, whatever.”
It would allow those with fewer carry-ons to zip right through, "instead of people dumping stuff everywhere, taking up four of the plastic bins,” said Smith.
Jensen wonders if it’s the line that needs changing.
“Maybe our attitudes just need to change," Jensen said. "I think if we all just realized we're all in the same boat trying to get a job accomplished, we could all be a little happier and friendlier (and) could even just help the whole process.”
To submit your idea to the TSA go to: https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933343. The deadline is Aug. 15.
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