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Virtual queuing at airport security lanes


  • de Lange, Robert
  • Samoilovich, Ilya
  • van der Rhee, Bo


Airports continuously seek opportunities to reduce the security costs without negatively affecting passenger satisfaction. In this paper, we investigate the possibilities of implementing virtual queuing at airport security lanes, by offering some passengers a time window during which they can arrive to enter a priority queue. This process could result in a smoother distribution of arriving passengers, such that the required security personnel (costs) can be decreased. While this concept has received attention in a number of settings, such as theme parks, virtual queuing at airports bears an additional level of complexity related to the flight schedules, i.e., passengers can only be transferred forward in time to a limited extent, which we denote by the transfer time limit. We conducted a major simulation study in collaboration with a large international airport in Western Europe to determine the potential impact of virtual queuing and find that nearly one million Euro can be saved on security personnel cost without negatively impacting the passenger waiting time.

Suggested Citation

  • de Lange, Robert & Samoilovich, Ilya & van der Rhee, Bo, 2013. "Virtual queuing at airport security lanes," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 225(1), pages 153-165.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:225:y:2013:i:1:p:153-165
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2012.09.025

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blanc, J.P.C., 2009. "Bad luck when joining the shortest queue," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 195(1), pages 167-173, May.
    2. Azmat, Carlos S. & Widmer, Marino, 2004. "A case study of single shift planning and scheduling under annualized hours: A simple three-step approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(1), pages 148-175, February.
    3. Daniel, Joseph I, 1995. "Congestion Pricing and Capacity of Large Hub Airports: A Bottleneck Model with Stochastic Queues," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 327-370, March.
    4. Ernst, A. T. & Jiang, H. & Krishnamoorthy, M. & Sier, D., 2004. "Staff scheduling and rostering: A review of applications, methods and models," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(1), pages 3-27, February.
    5. Joseph D. Blackburn, 1972. "Optimal Control of a Single-Server Queue with Balking and Reneging," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(3), pages 297-313, November.
    6. Susan H. Xu & Long Gao & Jihong Ou, 2007. "Service Performance Analysis and Improvement for a Ticket Queue with Balking Customers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(6), pages 971-990, June.
    7. Cynthia Barnhart & Amy Cohn, 2004. "Airline Schedule Planning: Accomplishments and Opportunities," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 6(1), pages 3-22, November.
    8. Nie, Winter, 2000. "Waiting: integrating social and psychological perspectives in operations management," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 611-629, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jaitra:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:53-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:jaitra:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:13-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:touman:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:64-72 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:queues:v:87:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11134-017-9538-x is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:jaitra:v:64:y:2017:i:pa:p:33-41 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jaehn, Florian & Neumann, Simone, 2015. "Airplane boarding," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 244(2), pages 339-359.

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    Queuing; Simulation; Virtual queue; Airport security;


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