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The TSA's Black Diamond Program

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  • The TSA's Black Diamond Program

    Anyone seen those signs at airport security asking you to choose a lane based on whether you're an "Expert Traveler" (black diamond), "Casual Traveler" (blue square), or a traveler with a family or special needs (green circle)? They're part of the TSA's Black Diamond self-select program, which the agency has been testing in various U.S. airports for the past two years.

    What do you think of the program? Love it? Hate it? Does it make airport security more efficient?

    Check out our take below, and then share your own!

    New TSA Initiative: Convenient or Confusing?
    Last edited by SarahS; 03-08-2010, 05:38 PM.
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler

  • #2
    Re: The TSA's Black Diamond Program

    I have seen these signs once. I was actually not sure whether I should go to the black or the blue lane -- I don't fly anywhere near as often as business travelers, but I know the airport security rules pretty well. I think I ended up choosing the blue line because I felt pretentious choosing the black one, LOL.

    Whether it sped things along...who knows! The lines weren't that long anyway.
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag


    • #3
      Re: The TSA's Black Diamond Program

      I think the program is great! I used it in SEATAC and was whisked right through. Initially, I was a little intimidated by the term "expert" as I dont fly frequently for business. But considering that both the word "expert" and "frequent" are relative... well I jumped in and acted like I knew what I was doing. We travel a few times a year, and I am often the person who friends or family will ask about 3-1-1 or other security rules, so I was prepared when it was my turn to get through the line.

      I think its nice to offer lines for people who are unaware of the rules and process. The "casual" line takes a little pressure off, allowing them to ask questions, or make a few honest mistakes.

      Also, the wait for security can be intimidating and make any plan to leave the secured area during a long layover a bit of a headache. With the 'black diamond' lane, I know I can get back into the gate area if I want to wander further than the check point during the wait.