Newark Liberty Int’l Airport unveils ‘VirtuaLine’ system to alleviate crowds
Newark Liberty International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the region. And now the airport has unveiled a new system to help alleviate crowds and congestion ahead of the holiday rush.
Over 10,000 travelers pass through Terminal A on any given day. With the closure of part of the terminal for an expansion project, the security checkpoints in Terminal A are seeing more passengers. The new reservation system is expected to help speed passengers through.
“The reality is that too many people are becoming TSA Pre-Check now. So even those lines are really long,” says traveler Katie Henry.
Henry was heading back home to Indiana. She just signed up for Newark airport’s program that will allow her to move to the front of the security line.
“When I’m traveling for business it’s nice to know that I can come and schedule a set time. It will lower my time waiting in line and I can plan accordingly,” Henry says.
The program is called “VirtuaLine.” It is a reservation system to help alleviate some of the congestion passengers might experience before actually getting to the security checkpoint.
“You enter your flight information…your destination, your airline, your flight number…It gives you a slot to choose an appointment,” says Elizabeth Paul, with Aviation Technology & Innovation.
Travelers can choose an appointment as close to or as far away from their flight time as they wish. They can sign up online up to 72 hours before the flight or they can sign up when they get to the airport. Both reservations and walk-in appointments are available for departing and general screening passengers every day from 4 a.m. until 8 p.m. This is only in Terminal A.
“Once it’s your appointment time, you show the QR code that you received on your phone. They’ll scan you in and take you right to the front of the TSA line,” Paul says.
This is still a pilot program. Only two other airports in the nation have similar programs.
This is not TSA Pre-Check. VirtuaLine has its own dedicated lane at the TSA checkpoint and is for general screening passengers who don’t have Pre-Check. Passengers who sign up for the free service will still have to go through security and will still have to follow all the general security rules.