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JFK Airport customs kiosks pay off in shorter wait times

JFK Airport customs kiosks pay off in shorter wait times

NEW YORK: Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL)’s financing of automated passport-control kiosks at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport cut wait times in half a month into their use, according to US Customs and Border Protection statistics.

The average wait for all time slots is now 16.6 minutes, down from 34.9 minutes in October 2012, according to agency data. The average maximum wait is now 58.2 minutes, down from 97 minutes a year ago.

“Cutting wait times in half is dramatic early evidence that automated kiosks work in relieving the unacceptably long wait times JFK has experienced,” said Joe Sitt, chairman of Global Gateway Alliance, a trade organization advocating for improvements at New York’s airports.

JFK is the busiest US entry point for international passengers, according to the Manhattan-based group. The alliance pushed Customs to install automated passport control after complaints of lengthy lines holding up travellers by as much as five hours. Delta’s decision to pay for the kiosks was one way private-industry partners are helping roll out the program, CBP said in September.