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FAA allows curbside check-in to resume at some airlines

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sources tell CNN the FAA has changed its requirements on curbside check-in -- now allowing airlines that can demonstrate they have enhanced security to offer it.

The FAA banned curbside check-in service at all airports after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The agency would not comment on what enhanced security measures must meet in order to resume curbside check-in.

Sources say passengers checking in curbside are checked against the airline's computers under a program known as CAPS (Computer Assisted Passenger Screening). If the passenger is flagged or selected, he or she then has to go into the terminal ticket counter and check in as usual.

American Airlines spokesman John Hotard says American is offering curbside check-in at Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth airports and may start offering it as early as tomorrow at Miami's airport. United and USAirways are offering it at Washington Dulles Airport.

Delta Airlines says it's not currently offering curbside check-in.

Sources say even though the FAA has lifted its ban, some airport authorities are still not allowing curbside check-in, even if the airlines meet the new enhanced requirements.

The lifting of the restriction could help ease congestion at airport ticket counters. The airline industry says 40 to 60 percent of passengers normally use curbside check-in.

Airlines are expected to report their passenger load factors -- the percentage of planes passengers are filling -- as early as today.

The Air Transport Association -- which represents the major commercial airlines -- says domestic load factors have been steadily rising over the past week. On Saturday, September 22, domestic airlines were 42 percent filled. As of Friday, September 27, airlines were 54 percent filled.


• Federal Aviation Administration
• Air Transport Association

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