Breeze Through Security with Pittsburgh Airport's One-Bag Express Line

The airport security line just got a little shorter at Pittsburgh International thanks to its new, TSA-approved “one-bag only” express security lane.

How it Works for Passengers

As of today, passengers who arrive at the airport with a single carryon bag can enter the airport’s Express Security Lane. As MSNBC reported, the Allegheny Airport Authority says this could pull up to 25% of the passengers out of longer lines “and improve everyone’s experience.” It would make for a quicker experience for the one-baggers, but they are likely few in number because you cannot enter the express line with a carryon and any of the following:

  • Purse
  • Laptop
  • Multiple small carryons

You are allowed to carry a coat or jacket. Officials in Pittsburgh believe they are the only airport in the country with this kind of express lane, but there are other ways to get through security more quickly, particularly if you’re willing to pay for the privilege.

Other Quick Security Line Options

Looking for a quicker security experience at your airport? Check these out:

TSA Trusted Traveler Program:

Coming in October, this test program will at involve only a small number of frequent flyers with Delta and American at airports in Atlanta, Detroit and Dallas. The invitation-only participants have shared travel information with authorities and will be expedited to a dedicated security lane; they will also be exempt from taking laptops out of cases but best of all, they will be allowed to keep their shoes on.

Drawback: If you don’t wish to share information, you won’t get in the program.

CLEAR Airport Check-in:

Right now a major problem for this fee-based program is its limited availability; you’ll only find this speed-through-security program in the Denver and Orlando airports.

Drawback: There is the $179 per person charge for the privilege, which may make it cost-prohibitive for the infrequent flyer.

Elite Status Frequent Flyers:

If you are among the elite of your favorite miles program, you already get the perk of an expedited security line with United and American, to name just two airlines.

Drawback: You must fly thousands and thousands of miles each year to qualify for elite status.

Frequent Flyer Programs: How They Work and Should You Join

If none of the above applies to you, you can at least get a smoother security experience by packing neatly so they won’t have to spend extra time scanning your carryon and knowing what the TSA does and doesn’t allow through security, such as liquids more than 3.4 ounces.


Published: September 13, 2011