28 July 2009

Crowdsourcing Airport Security Wait Times

Josh Sulkin, of FlyOnTime.us, has created this interesting little Twitter crowdsourcing experiment:

Hello All BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!

TSA Security Checkpoint at Terminal C of Newark International Airport.

Here is something I found that may be helpful during your travels in the coming future. PDA's, IPhones and Blackberry smart phones will be able to check the wait time at security checkpoints via twitter. As popular as Twitter is becoming and getting used or attached to everything society does, why not check the security checkpoint lines. It's still in it's infancy but the theory of being able to find out how long the checkpoint lines are before you get there would be a good bit of information especially if your running a little late! (Not for my blog readers, they don't run late because they were prepared in advance) :-)

So follow the instructions and see what you find out and let me know if it works or what problems you may have incountered. You will need to know your 3 letter ID airport code (ex. Denver-DEN or Cinncinati-CVG) or you can go to the airport code link and look your airport departure or destination identifier. 3 Letter ID Airport Codes

I'm going to have my smart phone friends try it out and see what they think so I can get some feedback and as soon I do I'll post some of there comments and or concerns.

Let me know what you think!!!

Have a safe trip and remember "Be Proactive Not Reactive" when you fly and enjoy your trip!


From Josh Sulkin "I'd like to announce some major changes to the Apps For America 2 entry FlyOnTime.us, as well as ask for your help in a "crowdsourcing" experiment I'm conducting."

First the experiment...I originally wanted to incorporate the data from the TSA's airport security line wait time calculator into my website, but unfortunately they discontinued it for some reason:

It seems they are revamping it, but regardless it didn't provide the information I really want which is real-time data on the wait time at the airport security lines.
My proposal is for you to go to flyontime.us from your iPhone, Blackberry, or other smart phone when you enter a security line and tell me what airport you're at (a form for this will automatically come up if you're viewing the website on a mobile phone).

Likewise, when you exit the security line, just click a button on the site to tell me so, and this way I'll know how long you were in line. If enough people do this, I can get real time statistics on airport security wait times.
I also wrote some code to monitor Twitter, so if you want you can just tweet this message when you enter airport security:

#airportsecurity xxx in and tweet this message when you leave the line:

#airportsecurity xxx out where xxx is an airport code like "ord" or "lax".

This way you don't have to go to my website but I can still monitor the real-time wait times. More information on this is available at:


I have no idea if this idea will work or be a total flop, but this is Sunlight LABS after all, so it seems like a good place to try this kind of experiment. So, if you're traveling some time soon, consider contributing your wait time. Also, if you like this idea, please spread the word (one way is to mention @flyontime and "TSA crowdsourcing" on twitter).

Airport Security Lines

This part of FlyOnTime is under development as travelers send in their security line wait times.
You can search real-time and historical wait times in the security lines at major U.S. airports.
When you go to the actual website all the airport codes, days of the week and times will be in a drop down box.

(city or code)
Day: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

(optional) Time: 00:00 - 00:59 01:00 - 01:59 02:00 - 02:59 03:00 - 03:59 04:00 - 04:59 05:00 - 05:59 06:00 - 06:59 07:00 - 07:59 08:00 - 08:59 09:00 - 09:59 10:00 - 10:59 11:00 - 11:59 12:00 - 12:59 13:00 - 13:59 14:00 - 14:59 15:00 - 15:59 16:00 - 16:59 17:00 - 17:59 18:00 - 18:59 19:00 - 19:59 20:00 - 20:59 21:00 - 21:59 22:00 - 22:59 23:00 - 23:59

We gather all of our airport security line statistics from YOU, the users of this site. We depend on our users to tell us when and where they are entering and leaving an airport security line. You can contribute one of two ways:

1) On your smart phone's web browser

Visit flyontime.us from your iPhone, BlackBerry, or other smart phone and tell us what airport you're at and when you enter and leave a security line. If you're on a smart phone right now, enter our mobile site.

2) On Twitter

When you enter a security line, tweet this message: #airportsecurity xxx in and when you leave the line, tweet: #airportsecurity xxx out where xxx is an airport code like "ord" or "lax". The airport code is optional for the second message. Also, "in" and "out" can come before or after the airport code.

The following example will work too: I'm going to #airportsecurity in ord and I hope I make my flight.

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