As holiday travel kicks into high gear, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has unveiled another tier to their security line scheme for getting passengers through checkpoints efficiently.
The basic system instilled earlier this year is currently called the “black diamond” self select system, which effectively attempts to separate passengers at the security checkpoint into groups. Those who know what they’re doing, or the experienced travelers move (quickly) through the black diamond line while the casual or inexperienced traveler will move (slower) through a separate blue square line.
Now there is a third group: The Green Circle line is designed for families traveling together and for those with medical liquids over 100mL. Theoretically, I suppose this would also be the slowest.
Note, if you have liquids still adhering to the 3-1-1 rule, you should still go through your regularly scheduled line.
In concept, black diamond self select system is a good idea, stratifying the hurried, experienced traveler away from the casual, relaxed passenger who takes his or her time at the checkpoint. But in practice, does it work? Say you’re a casual traveler, are late for your flight and show up to find that the black diamond line is 1/4 the length of the blue square line. You’re going to go to the short, line, right? Will things equalize out independent of line designation?
For the sake of less mayhem at the security checkpoint, I hope it works out. Stay tuned for some reports from the field.