Tuesday, November 20, 2012

HAS Security Times

There has been some news lately directed at the new "security wait time" tracker on Fly2Houston.com
Houston Airport System rolls out new tool to measure security checkpoint times. Molly Ryan, Houston Business Journal

On Friday, HAS said it has equipped the homepage of it website, www.fly2houston.com, with the new time-measurement system. On the site, viewers can see how long checkpoint wait times are at each gate at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Hobby Airport.
HAS is able to calculate the wait time based on bluetooth signals that measure how long it takes customers to go through security checkpoints. The times will be updated every 15 minutes.

This is a great deal, if it's accurate.  The screenshot above was taken at around 12:30 PM CST.  If you're in an airport security line now and see this post, please let us know in the comments just how right they were.  It seems to me that, based on the limited write-up, the system relies on tracking blue-tooth signals from personal communications devices, which could result in lower times because people tend to turn those off before they stow all of their gear into the bins.  That said, it'd be nice if Houston's Tech blogger for our largest daily could dig a little deeper into this and provide traveller's with an idea how it's tracked, but this is not an iApple technology so the sad point is he's just not going to care.

Still, if it works, it's a great tool to help you budget your time when flying in and out of IAH.  I would run some personal test trials at first before basing your "will I or won't I make my flight if I arrive at xx:xx" decision on this tool alone. I know I will be.

UPDATE:  Stephan Segraves tells me (via twitter) that it's a "ping" technology where the system pings your Bluetooth device on the way in, and then pings it on the way out.   So if your Bluetooth is enabled then you're providing a public service as well as travelling.  Makes sense.  Thus endeth the tech portion of this blog.  I'd still give the system a few trial runs before using it extensively however.

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