Airport to open new lane for light packers
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Travelers who pack lightly might have an advantage making it through the security checkpoints at Pittsburgh International Airport starting Tuesday.
The airport will open an express security lane that morning dedicated exclusively to travelers who have just one carry-on item, whether it's a purse, a briefcase or a standard carry-on.
"It's sort of like the supermarket where you go through the 12-items-or-less line," Allegheny County Airport Authority spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said. "But there will be someone there to count so you can't sneak into the line like you can do at the supermarket."
The program was developed in conjunction with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration in an effort to reduce wait times at the airport. The express lane will be located to the right of the main security checkpoint on the airport's transit level.
Ms. Jenny said travelers would be able to stuff a computer in a carry-on bag to take through the express lane but would not be able to bring both a carry-on and a bag for the computer.
Likewise, women would be able to put a purse inside a carry-on to get through, but would not be able to take a purse and a carry-on through the lane separately.
"We're going to offer the people who know how to pack light the opportunity to get through faster," Ms. Jenny said.
Carry-on bags can be no bigger than 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches. Travelers will be allowed to bring a jacket or sweater through the checkpoint with the carry-on.
Ms. Jenny said the new lane is a result of an analysis that showed travelers are carrying more items through the checkpoint. Bradley D. Penrod, executive director of the county airport authority, attributed the increase to efforts by travelers to avoid the fees charged by many airlines for checked luggage.
"The additional screening of these items places a burden on the screening process. With the express lane, we will be able to alleviate that burden and move passengers through the process at a better pace," said Joseph Terrell, federal security director for the TSA in Pittsburgh.
First Published September 10, 2011 12:00 am