Sea-Tac airport testing pilot virtual queuing program

The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is piloting a new virtual queuing program and touchless check-in kiosk system in order to streamline the travel experience, improve physical distancing and reduce congestion at peak travel times.

The new "SEA Spot Saver" program will allow travelers to make digital reservations for TSA general screening security checkpoints either at their terminal or 24 hours ahead of the flight online. Once in the virtual queue, passengers can drop off bags, grab a coffee or say goodbye to loved ones while awaiting a notification that it’s their turn for screening, Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

The new service, free for all passengers, will only be available at at checkpoints 2 and 5 from 4 a.m. to noon daily.

At checkpoint 2, passengers will scan a QR code with their phone and follow text message prompts which will give them their estimated wait time. At checkpoint 5, Alaska Airlines passengers can either sign up ahead of time online or onsite for a screening appointment.

The program can serve up to 50% of passengers going through general security screening, airport officials said.

Sea-Tac is one of the first in the country to test the new queuing technology. The program will run through Aug. 31. Afterward, it will be evaluated to see if it improved efficiency.

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