SeaTac airport extends its virtual TSA queuing program

Virtual TSA queuing is here to stay at SeaTac airport in Seattle. 

The airport began its Sea Spot Saver as a trial program in May, enabling passengers at TSA checkpoints 2 and 5 to save their spot in line without having to actually stand there.

Now, the program has been extended to full-time, spokesman Perry Cooper said, and it also includes checkpoint 3. Checkpoints 2, 3 and 5 comprise all of SeaTac standard TSA security stations. The other two checkpoints are PreCheck, which is not yet integrated with the virtual queuing program. 

Related: Airports test virtual queuing for security checkpoints

SeaTac said that during just one August week close to 15,800 passengers used Sea Spot Saver, and 90% of participants said the program saved them time. 

The technology is centered upon QR codes. After scanning the code with their phones upon entry to the airport, users communicate with the system via texts. They receive texts updating their status in the virtual line and can also request additional updates via text.

Flyers can also reserve certain spots in TSA lines before entering the airport.  

Alaska Airlines, which has the largest operation at SeaTac, said more than 125,00 customers used virtual queuing during the May-through-August pilot. The airline said it has now extended how far out an appointment can be booked from 24 hours to 72 hours. 

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