First look at new TSA self-service screening lane and how it could improve airport travel


(LAS VEGAS) — Las Vegas is testing the future of airport screening with self-security checks and ABC News’ Good Morning America got a firsthand look at how it works.

ABC News transportation correspondent Gio Benitez went to Harry Reid International Airport to try what could be the future of air travel with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Passengers enter the self-service screening lane, which has multiple sensors, and are met with a virtual call with an agent.

“Is there anything I need to know about my shoes or the bag?” Benitez asked the TSA agent.

“Yeah. So since you are pre-check, you may keep shoes on, but make sure you grab one of the trays that are located next to you,” the agent instructed.

As travelers put the bags through a scanner, they will walk through an all glass scanner, which is slightly different than the standard ones seen in most airports.

“The scanner has all this glass here. So we’re going to get in here. Oh and it shows you that you have to stand differently,” Benitez said while getting into the scanner. “Once the machine clears me, I get my bag and I’m on my way.”

Benitez said, “It’s really very minimal contact with just about anybody.”

One additional convenience for any forgetful travelers, if an item like a wallet or phone are left behind in a security bin, the system stops the tray and alerts the passenger so they can grab their belongings.

While it may take some getting used to and could slow folks down at first, Christina Peach, the branch manager for the TSA innovation task force, is ready to see what works and what doesn’t.

“I’m hoping for a lot of feedback — even the negative feedback because you’re always going to get a little bit of both,” she told ABC News.

While some may wonder if this is a way to cut down on TSA officers, Peach reassured, “we will always have officers.”
She added that TSA agents “are the most important part of any of our systems, but we will be reallocating them to busier aspects of the screening process.”

TSA officer Ken Nixt told ABC News that while the new screening is more hands off, he’s still there and ready to help in person, explaining, “we’re just making sure that we’re following through all the security measures that are needed to ensure a safe travels.”

This is currently just a test in Las Vegas and is not yet launching at other airports.

Those traveling through Harry Reid International Airport can use the new lane and help as TSA develops the possible future of airport security.

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