The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is making it easier for American Airlines to move passengers via motorcoaches.
TSA announced today it has issued a short-term security program amendment to assess the security effectiveness of an industry-first program that transports screened passengers, their carry-on items and their checked baggage by bus from the secured area of Lehigh Valley International Airport into the secured area of Philadelphia International Airport.
Last year, American Airlines partnered with motorcoach service Landline to develop connections between those airports.
The program enables travelers from Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to be screened by TSA at the airport and then be transported by a Landline bus directly to a gate inside Philadelphia International Airport’s secure area to catch a flight to their destination without being rescreened at Philadelphia.
The program has been operating in a curb-to-curb manner since June 2022, and now offers airside-to-airside motorcoach operations.
Easier screening at smaller airport
Beginning this week, customers are able to arrive at Lehigh Valley, check in with American, clear security at the airport like any other flight, then board their coach on the secure side of the terminal. Customers will arrive at a terminal gate at Philadelphia International Airport and proceed straight to their connecting flight without having to go back through security screening.
Travelers arriving in Philadelphia will continue to board their Landline coach airside and arrive directly at Lehigh Valley. Checked baggage will be directly transferred between Landline’s vehicles and American’s network.
“This program enables travelers to travel out of a large international airport conveniently by going through our security screening process from a smaller international airport,” said Karen Keys-Turner, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “We have put in numerous security requirements for the bus operators and all airline personnel to ensure robust security protocols are followed at all times.”
Thomas R. Stoudt, Executive Director of the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority, said the program makes Lehigh Valley International Airport a more attractive travel option. “This partnership provides excellent connectivity to Philadelphia International Airport, and allowing passengers to process through the TSA checkpoint at (Lehigh Valley) elevates the customer experience while reducing stress for travelers,” he said.
Gary Tomasulo, American’s Vice President of Corporate Security, thanked the TSA and Landline for their work in creating the first-of-its-kind program. “We are excited to offer customers a more convenient experience to clear security at their local airport and arrive airside at our Philadelphia hub with a seamless connection to our global network,” he said.
The service is a glimpse at a future of travel in which ground transportation is fully integrated into the travel day, said Landline Co-founder and CEO David Sunde. “Arriving airside via ground transportation and immediately boarding your flight reduces both time and stress associated with flight connections,” he said.