Airport Security Sucks. But Two New Technologies Are About to Change That.

It’ll still probably be bad. Just slightly less so.

July 7, 2016 9:00 am

If you’ve given up hope that airport security screening will ever get better, well, we agree with your realistic worldview.

Airline honchos, though, have been embarrassed into action following nationwide reports of hour-plus-long screening lines since the start of the summer. Their next big bets? CT scanning and automated belts.

American Airlines is partnering with the Transportation Security Administration on both initiatives. Computed tomography (CT) scanners, currently used on checked bags, will be in action at security at Phoenix Sky Harbor by the end of the year. They will allow all travelers — and not just the PreCheck elite — to leave their toothpaste (and other liquids and gels) in their carry-ons.

The other will be familiar if you’ve recently flown through Heathrow or Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, who had a limited Delta trial in May: automated conveyor belts, with larger bins. An upgraded belt might not sound like a big deal, but at the ATL trial, wait times decreased by 30 percent. Look for them at O’Hare, Dallas Fort-Worth, Miami, and Los Angeles this fall.

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