Innovation Lanes airport security checkpoint
Source: Delta Air Lines.

Video: Delta Air Lines Gifts a Great Idea to Airport Security Checkpoint in Atlanta

“D elta gifted the TSA two innovation lanes this week at the airline’s hometown Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The lanes speed up wait times at security by providing five divestment points. An automated bin system keeps empty bins circulating and routes bins that alarm the system to a separate area for inspection, ensuring an ongoing flow of people and bins.”

This is the entire text of this article written by Ashton Morrow of Delta News Hub for Delta Air Lines — which purportedly spent greater than one million dollars on the system and deployed it in fewer than two months in addition to investing up to four million dollars to supplement the staffing of agents of the Transportation Security Administration at 32 airports across the United States — but this video really tells the story.

Delta Air Lines Gifts a Great Idea to Airport Security Checkpoint in Atlanta

Known as innovation lanes, an automated conveyor belt system returns empty bins from the exit of the line back to the entrance of the line, rather than requiring an agent of the Transportation Security Administration to do the task manually. Additionally, the automated conveyor belt system is capable of routing bins which activate alarms to a separate area for inspection, freeing up agents of the Transportation Security Administration to focus on screening rather than the logistics of moving baggage around.

Rather than line up immediately prior to the area of the security checkpoint where the passengers are scanned and processed, there are five areas in each lane known as divestment points which allow up to five passengers to remove their shoes and belongings at their own pace without tying up the line — potentially increasing the speed of the line and the number of passengers to be screened without adding new lanes.


I know a good idea when I see one — and I like this one.

This is the type of innovation which sorely needs to be implemented at airport security checkpoints around the United States — without requiring passengers to pay more in taxes or fees to be expedited more quickly when being screened — and I would ask why no one at the Transportation Security Administration developed a system like this; but that question would wind up being little more than rhetorical.

Now if only the Transportation Security Administration would offer the Pre✓ program for all passengers free of charge in conjunction with the implementation of these innovation lanes — wishful thinking, I know…

Source: Delta Air Lines.

  1. It doesn’t work at Heathrow as people simply don’t realise they should line up in parallel. Plus, the person nearest the machine never gets to put they tray on as the trays from the other people take up all the belt space available. It also means that everything has to go in a bin, which is countercultural to most passengers. Your stuff goes through at different times, interspersed with other peoples bins so you are jumping around trying to stop your stuff being stolen on the ‘clean’ side.

    1. Believe it or not, I have only used Gatwick and not Heathrow whenever traveling to London, MilesfromBlighty; so thank you for that information. That it does not work as advertised is sad to know.

  2. Another opportunity for people to be confused by what they should do next.


    Delta makes nearly a BILLION in baggage fees. This kind of PR effort is pocket change, and nicely diverts everyone. My 85-yeard old Dad really SHOULD be checking his bag, buy he won’t because he’s a cheapskate.

  3. This is not innovating, this is behind other airports. @milesfromblightl is correct about Heathrow but that is actually a different congestion issue. Look at Schiphol, the baggage screening is very well organized and faster but then the papers check is slow. In general the US airports are behind a lot of the global airports related to the ‘passanger experience’.

    1. Thank you for the clarification, Kinn.

      I remember how long were the lines in general at Schiphol Airport; but I have not been there since the process of how passengers were screened was changed…

  4. I actually thought Heathrow was better than the typical US screening. We had someone at the entrance telling us what “spot” to go to (1-5) which kept it from being confusing. We didn’t have any issue with getting out stuff on the belt or finding it on the other side. I think this would be a step in the right direction.

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