On September 19, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport unveiled three security lanes reserved exclusively for female passengers.
Designated by pink, flowery banners, the checkpoints – located in lanes 5 and 7 of Area A and lane 14 in Area B – are intended to help women avoid the embarrassment of being searched by male security guards. Children traveling with their mothers will also be able to use the lanes, which are equipped with Baby Delight portable infant sleepers for newborns.
So far, the Guangzhou airport is the first on the mainland to set up gender-specific checkpoints.
He Ying, a Women’s Federation official of Liwan District, told China Daily she did not think the lines, which are optional, discriminate against female passengers.
"Women usually need more time to get through security in airports; therefore, opening such security lanes for women will certainly help the airport operate more smoothly," she said.
Many worry the checkpoints will generate the kind of endless, snaking queues that notoriously clog entrances to women’s bathrooms, but Liang Yanfei, a female security guard at the airport, said the lanes should help reduce the average time spent in line by around 15 percent.
“Women passengers usually bring more articles to board planes, and we usually remind them to prepare in advance for security checks for their articles, including cosmetics, mobile phones, iPads and their personal belongings, to help save time,” Liang said in an interview last week.
In addition to the female-only checkpoints, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport also offers special lanes for first-class passengers, late arrivals, elderly and pregnant travelers as well as passengers with no baggage.
[Cover image via dayoo.com]