The Transportation Security Administration has been warning travelers, since late spring, that lines at airport security would be longer than normal throughout the summer. Passengers at several airports have already experienced these delays, waiting in lines for hours and sometimes even missing their flights. Recently, the head of TSA announced that the delays at security will most likely continue throughout the rest of summer.
The most common advice to travelers hoping to dodge long wait times is registering for TSA’s PreCheck. But, Michael Holtz, the owner of a global travel consultancy called SmartFlyer, shared some other ways that you can speed through the airport this summer.
Pick the shorter line, Holtz suggests. Most airports have more than one security area, with the more conveniently located being the more crowded. “Seek out the security screening point that’s less busy. You’ll likely have to walk farther to get to your gate once you get past security, but you’ll save time not being held up at security,” he said.
Be prepared, with your boarding pass and ID, and navigate the security line confidently, like you might a crowded bar. “There is usually a bottleneck at the beginning of the line because passengers are fumbling around trying to find their IDs and boarding passes, but have yours out and ready to go, and navigate your way to the front of this crowd like you do at a bar when you want to order a drink,” Holtz said. Holtz also suggests that travelers who have a boarding pass on their emails should take a screenshot, just in case Wi-Fi at the airport is weak. This way you can easily access the boarding pass without holding up others and yourself.
Flight times play a huge role in the wait travelers experience at security, according to Holtz. For Monday through Friday flights, Holtz suggests avoiding early morning and between 5:00 and 8:00 PM, because these are the most popular hours for business travelers. Saturdays tend to be the best day to fly, because most leisure travelers fly on either Friday or Sunday, Holtz said.
For travelers with flexible budgets, Holtz suggests looking into fee-based programs that are offered by a few carriers in the US to help travelers move through the airport more quickly. Delta, for example has its own entrance at Terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport, where Delta One passengers have access to expedited security. American Airlines’ Five Star Service program is for first- and business-class travelers and is available in 12 domestic airports and five international airports; services include curbside meet and greet and priority security screening.
Through JetBlue’s Even More Speed program, which can be added to any JetBlue ticket for just $10, travelers at more than 60 domestic airports have access to expedited security lanes and can also use the Even More Space program for roomier in-flight seats. For more information regarding how to beat the summer airport rush, [Click Here].
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