Why Queue Barriers Are Ineffective

Every business should focus on the customer. Queue barriers are ineffective at doing that. How do we provide the best queue management system across various industries?

Rope barriers at airport ineffective queues

Picture this: you are at the airport, between you and the check-in desk there are miles of rope and barriers - what do you do? You know that you should enter the queue-maze, but there is nobody in it. Can you approach the desk outside of the queue and take the risk? Or do you have to run left and right for the amusement of the airline employees watching you?

Queue barriers are an awful way to manage a waiting line. A location using this kind of system essentially sees their visitors as mindless cattle.

While we can somewhat understand such frigid approach at busy international airports, seeing this used at banks, museums or state offices is absurd.

Maybe these locations aren’t concerned about queue management or customer service. Maybe they don’t care about you at all.

What’s wrong with queue dividers?

  • It forces visitors to take an unnecessary path. It is just frustrating to walk 20 feet left and right multiple times, when the destination is 5 feet in front of you. Even worse with luggage or a shopping basket.
  • Once in the queue, there is no (easy) way out. Whether you want to pick up another purchase or realize you are in the wrong line – it’s either a lot of “Excuse-me’s” or limbo time. Good luck getting back in!
  • Some location use ropes to create separate lanes. In theory to straighten the lines and thus create some order. In practice it usually is to make it impossible for you to switch lines, when there is someone holding up yours.
  • The unnecessary path is totally ridiculous when you still have to zig-zag run the constructed maze even if there are no people waiting.
  • You can’t relax. In a serpentine maze, you can’t ever feel comfortable! You can’t even sit on your own luggage not to mention a couch or a chair. Instead you have to constantly shift tiny lengths or face the wrath of people behind you.
  • It’s passive. Often you have to wait a long time before being told that you are in the wrong line or the service is not currently available. Visitors are happy to engage beforehand and let you know about their needs. Especially if they see this helping to make their visit faster and better.

Cattle queue

Your visitors are not cattle. Treat them better!

To use Qminder, it’s as easy as just setting up an iPad on site. Visitors can then choose the service they need and enter their name. Then visitors know that they are now in the virtual line and you have a head start to provide excellent customer service. Some of them might even have a smartphone and commit to your location from distance with our free smartphone app.


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