Passengers at Berlin Airport Terminal 1 can book a specific time slot for their security check.
BER Runway allows passengers to go directly to security control in Terminal 1 using a separate entrance.
The idea is that passengers can better plan how long they will need to spend at the airport and so keep waiting times down.
Queues at security are currently the biggest issue in travel so initiatives like this to improve matters are highly welcomed.
The free BER Runway service is available for all passengers.
How it works
- Passengers make the booking on the airport website. They enter their flight details, party size and email address and choose a time slot.
- Bookings are possible from three days before departure up to 1 hour before departure for Schengen flights and 1.5 hours before departure for non-Schengen flights.
- Slots are offered within a time window of 60 to 360 minutes before departure.
- The time slots are valid 10 minutes before and after the specified time.
- Passengers receive an email and a QR code.
- They show these at the special entrance at their booked time.
Free for how long?
It is free right now but that will possibly change. One of the partners involved is CLEAR, a private U.S. company that offers a paid-for security process at U.S. airports.
At U.S. airports CLEAR members verify their identity with their biometrics in a dedicated line. They then go to the front of the physical security checkpoint.
Passengers still have to go through security but using CLEAR means they can save a chunk of time spent waiting in the security line.
The standard price is $192 a year per person.
Other airports with time slots
It has to be mentioned that Amsterdam has trialled such a scheme and it is probably the worst airport in the world now for security wait times.
- Amsterdam lets passengers book security time slots
- Aruba Airport introduces timed entrance to terminal
Technical support for the project, including software solutions, is being provided by the airport company’s partners Copenhagen Optimization and CLEAR.
Thomas Hoff Andersson, Chief Operations Officer at Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH:
“BER Runway allows us to offer our passengers a service, which is both attractive and free of charge. This means they can now plan the duration of their stay at the airport more accurately and thus ensure their journey is less stressful. BER Runway is also an important step towards increased process digitisation at our airport. This will enable us to further optimise all processes in the interests of our passengers going forward.”
Kasper Hounsgaard, Co-CEO of Copenhagen Optimization:
“The future of air travel lies in giving passengers more control over their journey. BER Runway changes the personal airport experience. More relaxed and happier passengers mean more sales for the company. Passengers who use the security controls during off-peak hours put our operational processes out of kilter. And because the virtual queue solution seamlessly integrates with any airport system, it is a viable solution for any airport.”
Caryn Seidman-Becker, CEO of CLEAR:
“The CLEAR Team is excited to bring its experience of seamless processes into completely new international markets with the expansion. We are excited to work with the entire Berlin-Brandenburg community to improve the airport experience for both the airport and travellers and to bring the CLEAR brand to the European market.”
N.B. Image credit: Berlin Airport