7 Steps United Is Taking to Shorten Your TSA Wait - United Hub

7 steps United is taking to shorten your TSA wait

By Ryan Hood, May 24, 2016

We know TSA security lines have never been the highlight of your travels, but recently, that step of the journey has become particularly frustrating due to unacceptably long wait times through the passenger and baggage screening process.

We are working with the TSA every day, and have been for the past several months, to help them address the longer-than-normal wait times at airport security checkpoints, including supporting the initiatives TSA recently announced.

At United, your safety and security — and that of our employees — remains and always will be our number one priority. While we encourage you to allow plenty of time in your travel schedules, particularly during the upcoming, always-bustling summer travel season, here are seven important steps we're taking to help get you through security in a timely manner and on your way.

1. More hands on deck

In an effort to get you through security faster, we are redeploying some of our employees at our hubs to help manage wait lines and perform other non-screening tasks. On top of the $11 million we spent on support from service partners, we've spent $4 million to provide additional assistance from our service partners at several locations around the system, including at our hubs in Chicago, Newark and Houston. These partners are assisting with non-screening tasks at the security checkpoints and bag screening areas. This is an investment in you, because the wait times are unacceptable.

2. Volunteers are on the way

Employees from our Corporate Support Center in Chicago are volunteering to assist their co-workers at the airports and improve the travel experiences by helping better prepare you for the security process. Volunteers will be on hand at O'Hare International Airport Thursday, May 26 and Friday, May 27 to provide basic assistance in the lobby and terminal area by giving directions and answering questions to expedite the security process for Memorial Day travel. This is an extension of an already-existing program and we are looking to expand it further.

3. Staying in the loop

We are partnering with and strengthening communication with TSA on a local level at each airport to provide a more efficient deployment of resources to help alleviate wait times.

4. Operational flexibility

To help you in case you do get stuck in a long line, in certain situations we will hold a flight to allow you extra time to go through security. We will balance this with running a reliable operation as we know this is a priority for all of you. Additionally, we may have our employees 'prioritize' the security line for those of you whose flights are soon to depart.

5. Ensuring you have your belongings

Working with TSA, we have developed baggage processes to meet all security and safety requirements, with a focus on ensuring you receive your bags in a timely manner. This has supported record-setting baggage performances in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Washington, D.C. and Newark.

6. Innovative checkpoints

With checkpoint redesign projects underway across our system, we are working with TSA to make sure we take advantage of the latest innovative checkpoint technology.

  • We are in the process of consolidating our three checkpoints in Newark into one new, centralized checkpoint. This will allow for additional lanes and a much better process for you.
  • We have redesigned checkpoints in Chicago to create more room for you.
  • Our new checkpoint in Los Angeles is under construction. Once complete, this will be a dramatic improvement in your overall experience.
  • We are engaged with TSA on a long-term project to alleviate wait times in Denver.

7. Enroll in TSA PreCheck

We are installing TSA PreCheck enrollment centers at each of our U.S. hub airports and other key locations to make it more convenient for you to enroll. Please visit TSA PreCheck for more information. Enrollment costs $85 and is valid for five years.

All of us here at United have never been more focused on ensuring you have a comfortable and reliable journey. We look forward to welcoming you on board soon. Visit united.com to book your next trip.

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