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New technology for TSA could reduce airport wait times during this busy summer of travel

May 11, 2022
4 min read
Passengers lined up at TSA security area, West Palm Beach, Florida
New technology for TSA could reduce airport wait times during this busy summer of travel
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In anticipation of the busiest summer travel season since before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Transportation Security Administration has expanded digital screening operations to assist air travel volume expected to meet or exceed levels not seen since 2019.

The agency hopes enhanced screening operations and the deployment of nearly 50,000 TSA agents will not only reduce security wait times for travelers but also minimize the spread of COVID-19, particularly as Americans take to the skies for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

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“Daily passenger volumes at TSA checkpoints show that people are traveling again, and TSA is ready for their return," TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a press statement on May 10. “Our airport security checkpoints include 47,500 highly-trained security professionals and new technologies that enhance security and reduce physical contact."

In a proactive response to assumed passenger traffic, the agency has reportedly quadrupled the number of TSA employees who are ready and able to fill in at airports where long lines arise, including nearly 1,000 employees who allegedly volunteered to be sent to other airports as needed, according to reporting by AP.

Most recently, the TSA deployed two new technologies at airport screening checkpoints to reduce the amount of physical contact between TSA agents, passengers and their carry-on luggage. That includes computed tomography units at more than 160 airports nationwide that allow for digital verification of carry-on bags.

This new technology means TSA officers are able to review a 3D image of passengers’ bags, reducing the need to physically search a bag's contents. What's more, passengers screened in lanes with the CT technology do not need to remove their liquids or electronics, further speeding up the time it takes to get through security.

"The new CT units are currently being installed at Billings Logan International Airport in Montana, Albany International Airport in New York, Buffalo Niagara International Airport in New York, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina," the TSA confirmed in a press release. The agency also confirmed that additional CT scanners will be installed at checkpoints throughout the summer.

Additionally, TSA deployed Credential Authentication Technology at more than 175 airports, more than half of which are modified and equipped to digitally verify a passenger's boarding pass is consistent with the information listed on their driver's license or passport.

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Beyond implementing these new technological measures designed to provide a smooth security experience among travelers, TSA also advised travelers to arrive early at the airport to ensure you have enough time to check in, check bags if necessary and complete the entire security screening process ahead of your flight.

Airlines generally recommend arriving at the airport at least three hours before your scheduled international flight or two hours before a domestic flight. Travelers can also verify anticipated security wait times ahead of travel via the MyTSA app or iFly.com.

As the TSA continues to invest in more agents and technological improvements, the most consistent way to expedite your way through TSA security is by enrolling in TSA PreCheck. With it, passengers are directed to a PreCheck-specific lane in which they do not have to remove their shoes, belts, liquids, food, laptops or light jackets.

In April, 94% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes at the checkpoint, according to data provided by the TSA.

Read more: 12 key things to know about TSA PreCheck

Featured image by UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
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Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023