United Airlines Opening Fully Automated Airport Screening Lanes

Image courtesy of United Airlines

In an effort to ease congestion at security checkpoints — like last year’s unholy traffic jams during the busiest season for travel — United Airlines has outfitted an entire airport terminal in New Jersey with automated screening lanes.

The carrier says its plan to partner with the Transportation Security Administration on the newly redesigned screening process is now a reality, with the opening of “a fully redesigned and consolidated security checkpoint” at Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal C.

The checkpoint includes dedicated lanes for Premier Access and TSA Precheck, with 17 automated screening lanes that feature larger bins and individual stations, allowing agents to process more travelers at one time.

Bins are automatically reloaded at individual stations in the screening area, and are then placed on a motorized conveyor belt once they’re full of items. This cuts down on the problems that arise when say, a family of six is in front of a traveler with just a single carry-on. Each bin also has an RFID tag that allows them to be automatically diverted to a secondary area for additional screening if needed.

While others like Delta Air Lines and American Airlines have made efforts toward automated lanes as well, this moves makes Terminal C “the first checkpoint in the country to exclusively feature the new lanes,” United says.

In addition to the new security checkpoint in Newark, United has opened automated screening lanes at its hubs in Chicago and Los Angeles as well. The carrier is also rolling out a new “state-of-the-art” customer check-in area and consolidated screening checkpoint in Terminal 7 at LAX later this year.