The TSA security lines has gotten progressively worse and worse over time, especially at the country’s busier airports. More people flying, on top of sometimes not having enough TSA officers on hand (the Great Resignation, Covid, etc.) means waits that used to “only” be 15 to 30 minutes are sometimes upwards of an hour and a half, with queues stretching outside the terminal and into the parking garage (such as what happened at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport a week and change ago).
Some airports, both inside and outside the U.S., have begun experimenting with reservation systems for their TSA (or equivalent) queues. That way, if your flight is at 4pm, you can make a reservation for an appropriate time beforehand, and not have to stand on a potential 90 minute queue.
- Here are the 9 airports in the U.S. and Canada with reservation systems
- This is the 1st airport in Europe to offer a reservation system (it’s free!)
- Dublin Airport also has its own reservation system
Orlando International Airport, the busiest airport in Florida, has had a TSA security reservation system in place since October, 2021 (here’s how it works). However the second busiest airport in the state has just announced they’re also joining the reservation system bandwagon.
Effective September 20th, American Airlines passengers flying out of Miami International Airport (MIA) can now schedule their TSA checkpoint screening time with MIA Reserve.
MIA Reserve will be a 6-month pilot program. It’s free for passengers and is being offered thanks to a partnership between security technology firm Pangiam, software and consultancy company Copenhagen Optimization, secure identity platform CLEAR, and American Airlines.
Reserved screening times are available daily to American Airlines passengers at MIA’s TSA Checkpoint 4 from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Travelers can schedule their flight up to 72 hours before a flight.
As per MIA’s press release, passengers should reserve their spot early to secure their preferred appointment time. Appointments are available up to 60 minutes before domestic flights and up to 90 minutes before international flights.
How it works
If you didn’t pre-schedule an MIA Reserve time before arriving at the airport, you can still make a reservation upon arrival. Just use your smartphone to scan the QR code on the MIA Reserve signs at Checkpoint 4 and then set up an appointment, if available.
MIA Reserve allows a grace period of 10 minutes per appointment. So you can arrive any time within the 10-minute window after your appointment time (if you get there more than 10 minutes later than your appointment time, you have to go through the regular queue lane (That’ll teach ya to be late LOL!). Checkpoint wait times may vary by date and time, and expedited service is not guaranteed.
Passengers traveling with a group may book on behalf of the other passengers in their traveling party by specifying the total party size during the reservation process. The maximum group size eligible to enter under one appointment is 10 passengers.
“As MIA continues to set new records in passenger traffic, I’m proud to see that we are also exploring new ways to streamline the airport experience for our visitors,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “MIA Reserve has the potential to help many of our travelers get through the security checkpoint faster than ever before.”
“MIA and American Airlines are leaders in innovating on behalf of travelers, so Pangiam is proud to partner with them on MIA Reserve to make the security experience more predictable,” said Pangiam CEO Kevin McAleenan. “Together with CLEAR and Copenhagen Optimization, we’re deploying the best reservation system for airport security in the nation at MIA.”
As with other airport reservation systems, MIA Reserve does not work in conjunction with TSA PreCheck. But if you’re not a “trusted traveler” with PreCheck status, MIA Reserve can be the next-best thing to avoid the queues at Miami International Airport.
Feature Image: MIA
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary