Skipping the Line


I love to travel.  Seeing new places; seeing the changes in places I’ve been before; it’s exhilarating.  But the one thing I hate about travel is waiting in line.

And travel today involves A LOT of waiting and lines – lines to board the plane, lines to get off the plane, waiting for your luggage, the list goes on and on.    

I have a system to minimize the time I spend waiting in lines – always sit on the left side of the plane and as close to the front as possible, even if it’s a middle seat. 

Off the plane relatively quickly,  speeding down the jetway toward the immigration queues, there’s hardly anyone in front of me.  Now, I’m counting the minutes until I’m enjoying the sunny Seattle afternoon. I turn a corner and come to a full stop. Unbeknownst to me, four other planes landed just before mine and now there are a thousand people in line ahead of me and less than half the immigration booths are manned.

Crestfallen, I realize my hope of clearing immigration in 15 minutes was now actually going to be an hour plus.  As I’m impatiently waiting for the line to take a step forward, I hear an announcement to download the mobile passport app and use the FREE version to complete the immigration forms along with my passport info to allow me to skip the line and proceed through the empty Global Entry queue.

I thought I had misheard the announcement because no one around me looked like they were downloading anything on their phones.  I’d never heard of this app. Everyone else was simply standing around waiting for the line to move. 

Realizing I had nothing to lose even if there was some sort of catch, I downloaded the app and proceeded to enter my info.  As instructed, I entered the express lane for mobile passport control and when I reached the booth there was no one in line and I sailed through.  It took less than ten minutes from the time I downloaded the app to the time I cleared the immigration line. This was truly a moment of surprise and delight for me.  Line skipped and I was free to enjoy the sunny Seattle afternoon.

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Where are the unhappy moments for your customers?  What processes can be reimagined to enable your customers to skip the line?   Not sure where to start or where to take it from here? Level 11 offers solutions workshops to generate solutions that stick. Level 11 has helped companies like Disney, Starbucks, and Carnival Corporation achieve critical experience transformations, done right.  

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About the author

Alexandra is a Senior Product Designer at Level 11 responsible for product design and the customer experience for multiple clients. She is a passionate believer that all products, even those for enterprise users, can be desirable as well as useful. With a wealth of experience, she understands the growing pains of transformational change. Alexandra is always excited to explore new challenges when designing (or redesigning) the digital experience.