Airport security lines have grown so long that many travelers are missing their flights, and the problem is going to get worse as peak summer travel season approaches.
There are things you can do to get through security faster, but knowing how long you’ll have to wait can help travelers plan accordingly. If you have an upcoming flight, here are some ways to find out how long the security lines are at your departing airport.
Download the My TSA App
Start with the Transportation Security Administration’s official app, which provides approximate wait times at TSA security checkpoints. The app relies on user data, so the more travelers who update their wait time, the more reliable it will be. The app’s biggest drawback is that the maximum wait time displayed is 31+ minutes, which provides little value in the era of hour-long waits. It’s still worth downloading for other features, including the “Can I Bring?” button that lets you quickly search to see what’s allowed though the security checkpoint. The My TSA app is free and available for Apple and Android devices.
Download the MiFlight App
MiFlight is a non-TSA app that also relies on crowdsourcing to report wait times at airport security checkpoints, and it reports time in 5-minute increments up to 90 minutes. Travelers can even start an integrated timer as soon as they get in line at security, which eliminates guesswork. The app provides wait times for more than 150 of the world’s busiest airports. MiFlight’s elegant interface and bold photos make it a breeze to use, plus it provides helpful maps of the terminals. MiFlight is free, but it’s only available for Apple devices.
Check the Airport Web Site
A quick review of the top twenty busiest U.S. airports finds that few of them post the security wait times on their website, so this is probably not your best option. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the world, is a nice exception. Current wait times at all security checkpoints appear prominently at the top of the homepage. You can also register for Trak-a-Line, which will email you whenever the wait time changes. Emails automatically stops once your departure time passes. Other airports that provide wait times on their websites are: Washington Dulles International Airport and Denver International Airport.