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Female Only Airport Security Lanes – the future of air travel?

How many woman travellers have felt intimidated by male security officers at airports?

Quite a few it seems, if Chinese airports are anything to go by.

Recently, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, in the south east of China, introduced ladies-only security lanes for its female travellers.  

It’s not the first time female-only security lanes have been set up in a Chinese airport. International hub airport, Beijing, has opened up several dedicated woman-only lanes in three of its terminal buildings, as too have airports in local provinces Shenzhen, Kunming and Wuhan.

The new lanes, colour coded in bright pink for easy recognition, have proved an instant success - in just one day more than 3,500 female passengers passed through the lanes at Guangzhou Airport.

As well as putting women travellers at ease, the lanes also bring the added advantage of speeding up security and cutting down on lengthy queues.

Statistics show that woman take longer to pass through security. Some of the reasons for this are the need to take off jewellery, the removal of certain types of shoes and checking cosmetics.  With more women choosing to go through a dedicated female lane, the other ‘regular’ lanes can move with more fluidity.

Interestingly however, Beijing reports that the flow of their women-only lanes is much quicker and that they process a greater number of passengers than the 'normal' lanes. Unisex lanes, says Beijing Airport, process 130 passengers per hour; however, their woman-only lanes process 150 travellers an hour.

Accompanying children can also pass throught the women-only lanes, which Chinese security officials say is less stressful for mothers.

It’s not just female lanes that are being introduced. Other major airports in the country – Chengdu, Shanghai and Tianjin – have introduced ‘blue’ male-only lanes to help speed up men passing through security checks too. Which, according to figures, show to be 15% quicker than unisex lanes.

Whether the idea – pink or blue – will catch on in the UK remains to be seen.