How to prepare for long airport security lines

June 9, 2016 Mark Dauner

Summer is upon us and security lines are getting longer and longer at major airports across the country. School is out you’ll find many more families and inexperienced leisure travelers working their way through security along with you. An estimated 231 million passengers are expected to pass through US airports over the summer, which is an increase of about 9 million over last year.

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What can be done?
The first answer is to be patient and plan ahead. Allow extra time in your day and be sure you’re prepared. Allow 3 hours for major airports and 2 hours for secondary airports.  Have your ID and boarding pass ready, be sure you’re following all carry-on baggage rules and be ready to move through the checkpoint in an efficient and expedient fashion when it’s your turn.

Be a Trusted Traveler
You can also obtain a Known Traveler Number through TSA Pre Check, CBP’s Global Entry or another Trusted Traveler Program. Any of these programs will grant you access to the expedited TSA Pre Check security line that allows you to keep your shoes on, leave your laptop in your bag and much more. The cost for these services range from $85 to $125 and they’re typically good for five years. You can find out more about Trusted Traveler Programs and how to sign up here.

This step will not only help you get through security faster, it will also help security lines decrease overall and afford the TSA more time to focus on high risk travelers. You’ll be doing everyone a favor!

Airlines are helping
Some airlines have taken steps to minimize long lines. Delta Air Lines has implemented new security line enhancements in their Atlanta hub that include distributing lines across multiple “divestment points” that allow more travelers to get through security simultaneously. They’ve also introduced automated bin return systems. Delta claims that security lines will move approximately 30% faster with these new enhancements.

United has also redesigned security checkpoints at major airports such as Newark and Chicago O’Hare, and they’ve added and redeployed staff in key areas to better serve travelers going through security. They’ve also updated baggage processes to meet security and safety requirements. Read more about this at United’s website.

Minimize changes
Stick to your booked flights as much as possible this summer. With airline load factors at record highs, availability on other flights could prove to be difficult to come by and could increase your airfare cost considerably. If you don't have to make a change, it will be best not to.

Travel and Transport can help!
If you’re a Travel and Transport customer, you might notice that we have updated our upcoming trip notifications to advise travelers to arrive early and anticipate delays. In addition, our Dash Mobile app features live airport wait times that can give travelers a great indication of when they need to leave for the airport.

Additional resources
Our friends over at Ultramar Travel Management have provided some tips on getting through security efficiently.

Catey Hill from MarketWatch has some additional tips for avoiding long security lines.

The TSA has a mobile app that can serve as a valuable resource for travelers.

The New York Times offered some tips this week on getting through security quickly.

 

 

 

The post How to prepare for long airport security lines appeared first on Travel and Transport.

 

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