NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Speeding up the process for passengers while preserving hospitality is the name of the game for officials at Charleston International Airport. Starting in September, passengers can drop their bags off before walking through the front doors.
Starting in September, curbside kiosks will line the entrance to Charleston International allowing passengers to drop their bags off and head straight to TSA, cutting out the time normally spent waiting in line.
“Anything that speeds up travel air travel would be a good idea in my opinion,” says a passenger. “It becomes such a difficult experience.”
It’s a new way to check-in at the airport, dropping your bag at the door and heading to security. Officials say it’s a needed improvement with passenger numbers poised to break records this year.
“We’re looking to do about 5.1 million passengers this year which is a lot more than this place was scheduled to do at this time,” says Charleston International Airport CEO and Executive Director Elliott Summey. “So we know we’ve got to build bigger facilities.”
Summey says curbside kiosks will serve as the bandaid streamlining the process while cutting out the current need to print a bag tag and drop luggage off at the ticket counter.
“Instead of standing in that long line just to check a bag, which takes about a minute to do, you can actually do it yourself with the assistance of one of our employees right here on our own bag belt,” says Summey.
The curbside kiosks will manage growth while preserving the airport’s hospitality. Summey says growing numbers have officials looking at building a new terminal, concourse, and ticket hall. But for now, he says the outdoor kiosks are the best option.
“We’re going to pilot it out here,” says Summey. Certainly if this goes well, we’re going to look at doing it in the parking deck next.”
Officials are doing everything they can to stay ahead of the growth, and passengers believe it’ll help to ease the stress.
“It’s going to make for a much more efficient and passenger-friendly experience,” says Summey.
“I would take advantage of it all at once instead of a two-step process or a couple of different lines,” says the passenger.
Another option, registering for TSA Precheck online to give yourself more time at the terminal and less standing in line.