A shortage of TSA security personnel around the country is causing massive long lines at many airports. Over the weekend a frustrated traveler at Chicago’s Midway Airport arrived 3 hours prior to his flight and almost missed getting on the flight as the lines were so long. He was so amazed at the long line he took a video of the line and it went viral over the weekend with over 2,000,000 views. CLICK HERE to watch the longest line I have ever seen at an airport.
I hate to say this but you better plan to arrive at least two hours before your flight this summer –
I always try to arrive at the airport one hour before my flight time, however, with all the massive lines at airports this weekend I am now recommending that you arrive at least two hours before your flight time if you are traveling domestically. If you are traveling internationally plan on arriving three hours in advance. I know this seems ridiculous but until the TSA can get its act together this is the lay of the land.
The TSA is trying to hide how long the wait times are –
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is getting a big black eye from all the angry customers waiting in line at airport security check points. The TSA has a website called My TSA that they recommend travelers view to see how long the wait times are at airport checkpoints. CLICK HERE to view their website. With all the news this weekend about long security lines around the country I decided to take a look at what wait times were reported. At the site you put in the airport name and up pops a list of information from travelers reporting how long the wait times are. When reading all the reports I noticed almost all the reports said the wait time was just 31+ minutes, which did not seem so long. After further investigation I found out that the longest wait time you can post on the My TSA web site is 31+ minutes. So in other words if you wait in line for 2 hours and you go to the My TSA to report the long lines the longest you can put into the system is 31+ minutes. Shame on the TSA for trying to cover up an already bad situation.
Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are two ways to avoid longest lines –
For years I have been extolling the virtues of travelers purchasing the Global Entry and/or the TSA PreCheck passes which allow you to skip the long security lines and go through the TSA PreCheck express lines. Every time I travel to an airport I figure it saves me 15 to 30 minutes of waiting in line by having the TSA PreCheck pass. The best value is to purchase the Global Entry pass which allows you to clear immigration in the express lane when returning from an international flight. Included in the $100 Global Entry fee is automatic registration in the TSA PreCheck program for express lane service at security checkpoints at domestic airports. For more information on Global Entry and TSA PreCheck CLICK HERE.
Executive Travel sponsoring Global Entry Registration Event in Lincoln, NE June 6-10 –
A five day enrollment event will be held June 6-10, 2016 in Lincoln, NE at the Executive Travel, 1212 O Street offices. This event is to conduct in-person enrollment interviews for applicants to CBP’s Global Entry program. This Nebraska visitation by CBP allows travelers who want to sign up for the Global Entry pass to forgo traveling to a major airport hub such as Chicago or Newark for an interview for final approval into the system, thus saving travelers hundreds of dollars in travel cost and the loss of a day of travel time. If you are interested in participating in the interview process at the event CLICK HERE.
Here are a few tricks to bypass long lines at major airports –
If you arrive at a major hub airport like Denver, O’Hare, or Atlanta and find long lines often times I will go to another terminal and go through that shorter security line and walk to the other terminal while still inside the security zone. Chicago’s O’Hare is a perfect example. If lines are long in terminal 1 which is the massive terminal for United Airlines you can simply go to terminal 2 which often has shorter security lines and then walk the short distant to terminal one. In Atlanta if the lines in the Delta terminal are long some people simply go to the international terminal and clear the shorter security lines there and take a short train ride back to the domestic terminal. In Denver sometimes the North and South Security lines are very long and seasoned travelers know to take the special security lines on the Concourse A Bridge for the shortest lines.
Need information on any of the above? Call our friendly travel advisors….
Lincoln – 402-435-8888 Toll-free 800-737-0582