According to The Department of Homeland Security, travelers breezed through security over the July 4th holiday weekend. Despite scoring two of the highest-volume travel days seen since 2007, the average wait time nationwide in standard security was under 10 minutes. (Even still, people are so frustrated they’re even blaming their fellow passengers for holding up security lines.)
The question is whether these improvements will persist over the long haul. Bloomberg reminds us that “many of [this summer’s] remedies were temporary, involving the reallocation of existing funds and reassignment of employees to choke points.”
There are a few signs of hope on the horizon. Just last week, both houses of Congress approved a bill to upgrade airport security, which includes expedited security checks. What’s more, the TSA and American Airlines Group, Inc. recently announced plans to open automated conveyer belts to speed carry-on luggage and bins through security lines at the airline’s hubs in Los Angeles, Chicago, DFW, and Miami. There are also plans to add CT-scans (computed tomography) to checkpoints in Phoenix by year’s end.
Don’t Wait for TSA to Make Things Better for Passengers
Airports can take their own steps to alleviate security bottlenecks without incurring extreme costs or burdening passengers. Phunware is already powering the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) app and others, streamlining the passenger experience.
There are all kinds of unexpected situations that can cause a flight delay or interrupt the flow of passenger traffic through the airport. The New York Times just published an entire article about how planes can get held back by a broken coffee maker, and there’s an #iHateTheWait hashtag for frustrated tweeting at TSA.
With a passenger mobile app, airports can help reduce passenger stress and keep things moving when things don’t go as planned. Timely alerts via push notifications and personalized navigation to and through the airport can help travelers make the most of their time—and their trips. And the data they generate as they use the app and move around can help airports understand and optimize their operations.
Now’s the time for airports to seize the mobile opportunity and make things better for their passengers—and their non-aeronautical revenue.
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