There’s a new way to skip the security line at LaGuardia — just pay $15

Nov 22, 2021

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The busy holiday travel season is upon us, and there’s a new way to guarantee that you won’t miss your flight due to long security lines at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Though you might be familiar with some of the most popular expedited security programs, like TSA PreCheck and Clear, LaGuardia’s new Terminal B has partnered with a different provider that allows you to skip the security line.

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Dubbed “B-Fast,” the terminal is trialing a new front-of-the-line pass that takes you directly to the TSA agent for an ID check.

You’ll find the “B-Fast” signage right next to the TSA PreCheck entrance at Terminal B’s main security checkpoint.

(Photo by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy)

To skip the line, each passenger must pay a $15 fee. You can pre-purchase a pass, or you can buy one on-site just before entering the line at Passes expire 90 days after purchase, so frequent travelers could buy one the night before a flight and then bank it for a day when the line is really atrocious.

There aren’t any annual or monthly subscription options yet, but that’s something under consideration, according to a spokesperson for terminal operator LaGuardia Gateway Partners.

After purchasing the pass, you’ll receive a QR code that will unlock the e-gate that leads directly to the front of the security line. If you have TSA PreCheck, you’ll be able to use that expedited service after the ID check.

During my multiple recent visits to Terminal B, I haven’t seen anyone use the B-Fast lane. The terminal hasn’t done much promotion of the new service, though a spokesperson told TPG that the plan is to market it more widely in the coming days.

The B-Fast lane joins two other expedited security lanes at Terminal B, one for those with TSA PreCheck and another for premium passengers who are entitled to priority security on account of a first-class ticket or airline elite status.

Notably, there are no Clear checkpoints at LaGuardia’s Terminal B, and there aren’t any plans to install them either.

The B-Fast lane is operated by Airboard Group, a third-party company that specializes in expedited boarding and security software.

(Photo by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy)

According to its website, the company operates a revenue share model that allows terminal operators to set their own fees without any upfront costs.

For LaGuardia’s Terminal B, there’s seemingly no downside to partnering with Airboard to offer the B-Fast lane. Even if it sells just a few passes, everything it earns goes straight to its bottom line — there are minimal marginal costs to offering this service.

For travelers, well, this service might be reminiscent of Disney World or a popular ski resort that charges its deep-pocketed guests an extra fee to skip lines.

Personally, I could only see myself using this service if I was running late and security was backed up.

To date, I’ve never waited more than five minutes for the TSA PreCheck lane at Terminal B. It’ll be interesting to see if that changes as leisure travel picks up this holiday season, but at least there’s an option to bypass the line, if necessary.

Interestingly, just a few miles south on the Van Wyck Expressway is Terminal 1 at New York’s JFK Airport, which also offers a priority security option, VIP One, for a $14 fee.

(Photo of VIP One by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

While the price is similar, JFK’s Terminal 1 is notorious for its slow and inefficient security screening process, even during the lull in traffic during the pandemic.

There, I’d consider splurging for the VIP One service, because more often than not, it’ll make a big difference in your airport experience.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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