Why are Airport Lines so Long? Let's Streamline the Airline Experience

Why are airport lines so long? When was the last time you were on a plane? These past two weeks, I've been in and out of Pearson 8 times and I really took a step back to think about how much time I wasted going through all the processes and waiting in all the airport lines.


I mean, if I wanted to fly to Detroit from Toronto, my entire journey would take about the same time as if I drove to Detroit!


Talk about inefficient...


We wait in lines at the airport for everything. They should look to streamline airports and the airport experience:


Solution: This is already being tackled by apps like Uber, but why not take this a step further? Have a designated driver parked in a specific spot in a parking lot where you can just walk to and pay directly with your flight. No sensors needed, just a simple connection of services.


Solution: We can begin to check-in online with our phone or computer, but this isn't always the case. We still need to get the ticket printed at the kiosk, which is super lame. Our phones should already have our validated identifier, kind of like a security tag when you're shopping. This is a seamless and quick way to connect the online check-in with hassle free experiences once you arrive at the airport.


 Automated airport kiosk for checking in

 Don't lie, how many times have you gotten frustrated at one of these?


Solution: This process should be directly tied to checking-in. One example to improve this process is to have picture recognition associated with baggage. Take a photo of your bag and simply place it on the conveyor belt. From here it's an employees job to check through the photo you uploaded. They will then tag and send your bags to the correct aircraft. Line completely removed with this innovation.


Solution: There's an offering called NEXUS in North America which allows for easy screening throughout the continent, and this is honestly how screening should be done. For customs, simply answer the questions on a screen, and if necessary, be redirected to higher levels of questioning; similar to lie detectors, heart rate and sweating can now be monitored in real time to catch people breaking the rules.



NEXUS pass card

 A quicker and easier way to travel


Solution: Security is a tricky beast to tame. We believe that the efficiencies within the system are already being improved. Also you know what the say, better safe than sorry!


Solution: Having food apps similar to Grabb or Ritual where you can order straight from your phone within airports to ensure quick and easy collection and payment of food would be a great start. Why not take this one step further though? Have food ordering relative to your location in real time. Receive a notification on your phone as your arrive to the airport via GPS which can communicate with vendors to prepare a drink for you based on expected wait times through security and your expected flight time.


Airport food lines should be cut

Uhh wait, damn editors, this isn't what I meant by 'fast' food


Solution: Well, to be honest, this is a little bit free-flowing and hard to predict. Maybe it should be left for the time being (Sorry! You still have to hold it in.).


Solution: Creating more stringent pre-departure rules could help decrease wait times. Having a hard cut off time to be in the boarding area, as well as allow boarding earlier (if the patrons choose) can decrease overall wait time boarding the plane. This can be quite difficult to optimize with bigger planes, as you may have to seat upwards of 500 people

John David Chibuk

Toronto, Canada |

Entrepreneur in machine learning and sensor based software development (>10 years). Background in engineering, tech with professional experience in North America and Europe.