MIAMI – Seattle-Tacoma Airport (SEA) has unveiled the Spot Saver program, allowing travelers to digitally reserve times to go through the TSA screening process. According to SEA, the pilot program is part of its plans to modernize the airport experience with virtual queuing for general screening security checkpoints and tap-free airline check-in kiosks.

As such, the SEA Spot Saver program seeks to streamline wait times at TSA and will operate daily beginning August 31 from 4 a.m. to noon at checkpoints 2 and 5. No membership or account sign-up will be required.

The program was unveiled at a crucial time in commercial aviation. Air travel and tourism are picking up due to the waning COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and the subsequent relaxation of travel, business, and gathering restrictions.

Photo: SEA

Expediting the Screening Process

Just last Sunday, TSA screened more than 1.6 million passengers, which is the most since March 12, 2020. While many airports are struggling to accommodate this new influx of passengers, resulting in long wait times, Sea-Tac’s new program will help expedite this process.

SEA Spot Saver will test two options. The first option, developed by Pangiam and powered by WhyLine and Copenhagen Optimization, will be offered exclusively to Alaska Airlines passengers. Alaska passengers can set up a security checkpoint up to 24 hours before their departure, and will then receive a QR code to use at their reservation time.

“We are confident this pilot program will help reduce queue crowding, enable social distancing and provide a smoother and safer experience for travelers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport,” said Daniel Tanciar, chief innovation officer at Pangiam.

An Alaska Airlines N487AS Boeing 737-900ER with OneWorld livery taxis to the gate. Alaska will allow travelers flying out of Sea-Tac to reserve a security checkpoint appointment up to 24 hours in advance under the new SEA Spot Saver program. PC: Brandon Farris/Airways

QR Code Scanning Option

Option two, operated by VHT, is offered to passengers on Delta Air Lines (DL) and all other carriers. This option allows passengers to book a checkpoint appointment by scanning a QR code once inside the terminal. There will be signage posted at Checkpoint 2, with staff checking appointment times. Up to 10 people are allowed per reservation.

“While it offers passengers a sense of comfort and stability,” said Matt DiMaria, CEO of VHT, “it also grants airports the power of predictability and efficiency.”

He added that he believes the program is a win-win for everybody. As of now, Sea-Tac is the only U.S. airport offering a “virtual queuing” system.

Featured image: SEA