How to Spot 'Secret' Airport Security Lines

4:36 PM, Jun 5, 2012   |    comments
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DENVER- The Transportation Security Administration is trying to speed up airport security screenings by asking passengers to choose a security line based on their familiarity with check point procedures.

Most airports have them, but a lot of people don't know about them. These 'secret' security lines could save fliers time.

One is called the Black Diamond line, which is designed for frequent or experienced travelers. Those travelers are familiar with security procedures and have their items out and ready.

The other line is called the Family Line and is typically marked by a green circle.

It is for those traveling with young children. Those fliers may have strollers or need extra time.

Kristy Witzky, who was traveling with her husband and nine-month-old, says the new system really helps her family slow down and reduces stress.

"I know, first of all, that when you get behind that family, you're automatically thinking, 'Oh my gosh! This is going to take forever,'" Witzky said. "But now [the expert traveler] can go on about his way and we don't feel the pressure of traveling."

"We are business travelers," said passenger Jordon Leu. "Our packages are simple. So I believe that will be more efficient."

Some airports also have a third line, which is usually marked by a blue square.

That line is for casual travelers, who often fall somewhere between families and travelers.

The third line is not available at DIA.

Individual airports can decide whether or not to adopt the self select lines. A few major airports that do have this system in place already are: Chicago O'Hare, San Francisco, Boston, Salt Lake, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Atlanta.

At most airports, like DIA, the lines are in plain sight. But other airports opt to put the Black Diamond line off to the side, almost hidden, where pilots and crew go for screenings.

The catch here is that anyone can go through any line. For example, families don't have to go in the family line if they don't want to. The lines are simply offering suggestions about who should go through them. Ultimately, the choice is up to the traveler.



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