For $9, United passengers can get through security faster

A TSA employee works at a security checkpoint inside Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Feb. 22. (Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)

CHICAGO -- United Airlines said Wednesday that it has started offering travelers the ability to buy their way through a faster security line.

For $9, customers can buy the right to get into the "Premier Access" line at security -- a route traditionally reserved for business- or first-class fliers.

Airlines such as JetBlue and Southwest, which tend to cater to vacationers and other leisure travelers, offer the speedy security option. But United, currently the world's largest airline, is focused on high-paying business travelers who might balk at the idea of having more travelers pay a nominal fee to share their exclusive line.

To help avoid this problem, United said it will limit the number of customers who can buy the speedy security option to ensure its elite fliers don't get held up.

-- By Samantha Bomkamp/Chicago Tribune