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October 27, 2013

DFW Airport spruces up Terminal E checkpoint to calm, relax travelers

DFW Airport checkpoint makeover 2Every air traveler knows that getting through the security checkpoint at an airport is like running the gantlet.

But what if instead of cold metal benches and gray x-ray bins, passengers are greeted with a comfy settee sectional and mood lighting?

"How do we make this the best wait of your life?" Dallas/Fort Worth Airport assistant vice president of planning Bob Blankenship said the airport staff asked themselves. The answer to that question is now on display at the airport’s Terminal E Gate 18 security checkpoint.

The airport partnered with the Transportation Security Administration, SecurityPoint Media and Marriott’s SpringHill Suites to create a more relaxing and less stressful security checkpoint. The remodeled checkpoint opened last week and will be in place through the end of the year as a pilot program for DFW.

The first thing passengers will likely notice is the hotel lobby-like lounge chairs and carpet near the entrance of the checkpoint. There are also large panels with nature photographs that block off the winding waiting line to create a calm atmosphere.

“We want to welcome people to the security checkpoint,” Blankenship said. On Wednesday, one traveler stopped to ask Blankenship if he was at the entrance to the checkpoint because it didn’t look like others at the airport.

DFW Airport checkpoint makeover 14Unlike the typical DFW checkpoint, where the waiting line to the TSA agent runs parallel to the check-in ticket counters, the new checkpoint has a zigzag line that is perpendicular to the counters, accommodating more people in line in a smaller area without spilling into the main check-in area. Mood lighting has been installed on the wall by the wait line, changing periodically from pale pink to pastel blue to soft green.

Customers can also view large monitors with flight departure and gate information while in line. Some monitors also feature concession information and let passengers know how long to expect to wait in the security line.

To read the full story that appeared in Sunday's Star-Telegram, click here.

Photos by Star-Telegram photographer Max Faulkner.

 

-Andrea Ahles

 

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