Much the way some supermarket shoppers go through a self-service checkout line, foreign travelers arriving at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday began passing through automated kiosks that scanned their passports and customs declarations.
The devices, unveiled by LAX and federal customs officials, are expected to streamline the process to enter the United States and reduce the long waits that travelers often encounter after arriving on international flights.
Officials also say the kiosks will compensate for the frequent shortages of customs and immigration agents at the nation’s third-busiest airport.
Airport officials opened 40 automated kiosks in the Tom Bradley Terminal, where arriving passengers must go through customs and immigration before entering the U.S. The devices, which cost $36,000 each, process passport information and items purchased abroad that would have to be declared to customs officials. Twenty-two other airports around the county already have them in place.
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