Self-Service Kiosks to Ease Miami Holiday Waits

October 3, 2013 by

Customs Miami

Miami International Airport officials have announced a plan to have 36 self-service kiosks in operation to help ease the long waits for U.S. and Canadian citizens traveling internationally.

Is the Wait Really that Bad?

Everyone expects a wait when it comes to travel, but statistics in a new report show that in the last year it took international travelers more than two hours to be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers. According to this report, which was conducted by the nonprofit U.S. Travel Association, Miami reached their peak processing time of 4.68 hours in April, 2013.

For those pointing the finger of blame, it’s not the airport’s fault but according to the U.S. Travel Association, the federal government is at fault for not providing the means needed for efficient service.

The report recommends hiring another 3,500 federal CBP officers along with other steps to alleviate congestion. However, with no federal budget in place and the gridlock in Washington, no one is holding their breath expecting that to happen anytime soon.

Unfortunately, the neglect of Washington to address such delays is costing Miami and other U.S. cities with major international airports as much as $12 billion a year as travelers spend hours in line instead of out shopping, eating, or visiting an attraction.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, the delays also discourage foreign travelers from even visiting the U.S.

Miami Airport

Self-Service Customs Kiosks Coming to Miami

To help alleviate the wait, the new kiosks coming to Miami will allow U.S. and Canadian passengers to scan their passports. This process generates a receipt that a Customs officer must read and cuts a two-minute process down to about 15 seconds. This doesn’t sound like much, but when you multiply time saved by the more than 40,000 international passengers, it really adds up.

While Miami needs more CBP officers and updated technology, without the federal government functioning there isn’t much hope for help on the near horizon. In the meantime, the kiosks should offer some relief this holiday season.

Photo credits: Cayetan, nikoretro

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1 comment

  1. Ruby T. says:

    Kiosks sound like a good idea … but isn’t the cost to install them going to be the same as hiring the extra personnel needed, who could then also perform other duties too? Hmm.

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