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November 30, 2021

Philadelphia International Airport begins displaying wait times for security checkpoints

The technology is currently available at Terminal D/E, but is expected to be installed everywhere by 2023

Travel Airports
PHL Security Wait Times Source/Philadelphia International Airport

A display sign at the Philadelphia International Airport informs passengers of the wait times at the Terminal D/E security checkpoint.

The Philadelphia International Airport is now providing real-time updates on the amount of time it will take passengers to pass through the Terminal D/E security checkpoint. 

Digital signage in ticketing area and along the approach to the checkpoint now lists the estimated wait times for general passengers and those with TSA Precheck. The information also is provided online.

The airport plans to expand the Queue Management System to every other security checkpoint by 2023, with Terminals A-East and A-West next in line. 

The Terminal D/E security checkpoint mostly is utilized by passengers flying on the following airlines:

• Alaska
• Frontier
• JetBlue
• Southwest
• Air Canada
• United
• Delta

The wait times are determined by LiveReach Media's platform, which uses a fusion of sensors placed at the start of the security line through the entire screening process to measure the passenger wait time. The data is updated every 30 seconds based on the current checkpoint status.

"Many passengers find the security checkpoint to be one of the most stressful elements of air travel," said Elizabeth Moselle, the airport's assistant director of guest experience. "By providing accurate, real-time information on our website and on digital signs, passengers will know what they can expect prior to arriving at the security checkpoint and can plan their trip to the airport accordingly."

Airport officials also will use the data to determine how many Transportation Security Administration officers are needed to staff the line.

The Pittsburgh International Airport installed similar technology in 2019

"Early on during the pandemic, PHL created a cross-functional Transition & Recovery team that explored how to drive innovation in the airport coming out of the pandemic," airport spokesperson Heather Redfern said in an email. "The Queue Management System was one of the projects identified by the Transition & Recovery team. The purpose of PHL's QMS is to enhance the guest experience."

Travel rates stalled last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Passenger volume has not yet fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels, but it is significantly higher than last year, TSA data shows. On Sunday, 2.45 million people passed through TSA security checkpoints. Last year, only 981,912 people traveled on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. In 2019, there were 2.28 million travelers. 

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