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Choose your lane wisely -- or not...

Posted by Ron Driscoll, Globe Travel Staff  May 2, 2008 03:06 PM

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Our friend Paul recently talked about the new TSA program by which travelers choose airport security lanes based on their experience and comfort level wiith the process. It was tried out in Denver and Salt Lake City, then was launched at other TSAlanescopy.jpg airports around the country. We recently found ourselves in the “fast lane” at Orlando International. Funny thing, though... We didn’t notice the signs designating lanes as Expert, Casual, etc., until we had actually chosen a lane based on how long it was. (And yes, thanks for asking -- we had already had our morning coffee.) The signs were so discreet as to be nearly unnoticable. The “expert” line actually ended up being slower than the “casual” traveler queue, since our ID/boarding pass checker was extra-diligent -- the woman in front of us even commented on the snail’s pace. When we crossed from that line directly into the closest screening area line, we found it labeled as “casual.” Hmm, we had changed category without even trying. Just to emphasize this change in level, the guy right behind us put other “stuff” into the same bin as his laptop, leading to the dreaded “re-screening.” Heck, even a relatively casual traveler knows better than that, n’est-ce pas?

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