Pay a fee to speed through security with US airline
Friday 01 July 2011
Flyers with US budget carrier JetBlue can now buy themselves speedy access through security lines, an idea which could catch on further afield.
At select airports, passengers who purchase the "even more speed" package will be able to use dedicated lanes, or those reserved for premium passengers, to ensure they pass through security checkpoints faster than the rest.
Although many airports around the world offer a premium security package sold by a third party, such as Privium at Schiphol and London Heathrow's "Fast Track" program, an airline bundling the service with a flight is an interesting development.
According to USA Today, only United Airlines offers a comparable service, and it's bundled as part of a premium travel package.
Flyers aboard JetBlue, however, can stick with economy and still enjoy the upgraded security experience for a fee, although at the moment it is being bundled with an enhanced legroom package which sells for between $10 and $65.
It is now available at airports in Austin (AUS), Baltimore (BWI), Buffalo (BUF), Charlotte (CLT), Chicago (ORD), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Jacksonville (JAX), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), Washington/Dulles (IAD) and will launch at Boston (BOS) on July 6.
It seems unlikely that, airport infrastructure allowing, JetBlue will be the last airline to offer a package like this.
A survey from the US Travel Association this week suggested nearly half of air travelers in the US would be willing to pay up to $150 dollars annually for less hassle at the airport.
The study, which was investigating traveler enthusiasm for the "trusted traveler" program advocated by many in the US to reduce the need for tight screening by airport security officials, suggested that 61 percent of frequent leisure travelers were 'very' or 'somewhat likely' to enrol for such a scheme.
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