Vegas Airport Debuts First of Its Kind TSA ‘Self-Checkout’

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Mar 31, 2024

A new kind of TSA technology is debuting in the Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport. This new Screening at Speed (SaS) program is designed to help decrease wait times in the airport for travelers.

As a result, the TSA has developed a “self-checkout” type of service for those traveling in the busy Las Vegas airport. This self-service option will allow fliers to serve themselves, rather than wait in line for a worker to assist them.

A Self-Service Kiosk

This SaS program has resulted in the development of a self-service kiosk at the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. This kiosk will only be available for TSA PreCheck travelers to use.

A black and white photo of an airport.

Source: Jon Champaigne/Unsplash

This kiosk will be called the Innovation Checkpoint. TSA PreCheck passengers can use this kiosk much as they would use a Target self-checkout machine.


Eliminating Wait Times

This new TSA program is intended to help make airport travel a bit easier for people. Everybody knows that going through the various checkpoints of an airport — all as you try to board your flight — can be more than a little time-consuming.

A close-up view of a spiral driving area of the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas.

Source: Kenny Eliason/Unsplash

So, the TSA is trying to eliminate these long wait times. Instead, they want to increase “security effectiveness while dramatically reducing wait times and improving the passenger experience.”

How to Use This Kiosk

According to renderings of this new service, travelers can use these self-service kiosks all by themselves. One rendering shows a passenger putting their bags onto a conveyor belt by themselves.

A red suitcase alone on an airport tarmac beside a plane.

Source: Ante Hamersmit/Unsplash

These bags will then be screened — but not by any TSA agent. This kiosk is designed to have very little interaction between TSA agents and travelers.

Body Screening

After putting their bags on a conveyor belt for screening, the traveler will then walk through a body scanner. Once again, they will do this all by themselves.

People in line waiting at an airport.

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The scanner will screen the person’s body automatically. If something is amiss, or if passengers need help, TSA agents will be trained in how to assist. Ideally, this will decrease the time one spends at security checkpoints in the airport.

The Traveler Is in Control

Upon revealing this new technology, TSA Administrator David Pekoske explained that these self-service kiosks will help travelers remain in control throughout security checkpoints. They will be able to move at their own speed.

A plane seen on the tarmac of a Las Vegas airport.

Source: Simon Moore/Unsplash

“We are constantly looking at innovative ways to enhance the passenger experience, while also improving security,” Pekoske said. “This self-service prototype allows our trusted travelers to complete the screening process at their own pace.”


The TSA Will Collect Data

However, Pekoske also explained that the TSA will collect data from the PreCheck passengers who use this service. They will analyze all that happens so that they can better the technology if needed.

A group of people in line on an airplane, with many sitting.

Source: Chris Brignola/Unsplash

According to Pekoske, this new kiosk allows the TSA to “collect valuable user data and insights, and explore opportunities to apply parts of the prototype to other airport security checkpoints.”


Facial Recognition at Airports

This latest TSA announcement comes as more airlines are using facial recognition alongside the TSA. In early 2024, the TSA introduced this technology at 16 different airports throughout the United States.

An aerial view of many planes parked on a Las Vegas airport tarmac.

Source: Nejc Soklič/Unsplash

Many of these facial scanning tools are only being used on TSA PreCheck passengers, as travelers have to agree to allow these technologies to be used on them.


Concerns Remain

However, many have grown increasingly concerned as the TSA has pushed for more facial scanning technologies to become the norm in airports around the country.

A plane landing on the tarmac at a Las Vegas airport.

Source: Julio Rivera/Unsplash

For the most part, most airports in the U.S. still have only traditional security services. They do not utilize facial recognition everywhere. More facial screenings may pop up in the near future, though, which has caused critics to worry about one’s right to privacy.


Travelers May Face Difficulties

In regards to this latest TSA self-service kiosk, the TSA does seem to recognize that it might take a while for travelers to get used to this new process. Therefore, some difficulties may arise as passengers deal with this new technology.

An airplane on an airport tarmac with people and cars in front of it.

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However, as TSA agents will be trained to help these PreCheck passengers out, the entire experience may still be quicker than traditional forms of security checkpoints.


How Quick Is This Service?

Even though the TSA has claimed that passengers using this service will likely have a much quicker and easier experience than others, the time it takes to use this self-service kiosk hasn’t been analyzed yet.

An aerial view of the Las Vegas airport strip and the city itself.

Source: Chris Linnett/Unsplash

However, first-time users at the Harry Reid airport have said that it does seem incredibly easy to use. Therefore, airport efficiency could increase with more of these kiosks being installed.


Las Vegas’ New Tech

According to the TSA, their new self-service kiosks will slowly roll out in the Harry Reid International Airport. This was initially supposed to begin in January. However, it was pushed back.

A close-up of a Welcome to Las Vegas sign in an airport.

Source: Nejc Soklič/Unsplash

Now, the rollout will occur in mid-March. TSA PreCheck passengers traveling through the Las Vegas airport may have the chance to try out this new technology very soon.