If you think airport lines are long now, just wait until June. A record number of Americans will be flying this summer, according to the industry trade group, Airlines for America.
Airlines for America projects that 231.1 million passengers will fly on U.S. airlines from June 1 to August 31, the most ever. That equates to 2.51 million passengers per day. The number of passengers is up 4 percent over last year, the previous all-time high.
Frustrated travelers are facing hour-plus lines to get through security at many airports, and those lines are expected to increase when summer travel season begins. There are several things you can do to get through security faster, including registering for PreCheck, flying during off-peak times, and dressing strategically.
Airlines for America is calling on the Transportation Security Administration to resolve long lines at the airports. “It has been a challenging spring with flyers waiting in lines that take more than 60 to 90 minutes to get through security,” said Sharon Pinkerton, a vice president at Airlines for America. “We encourage TSA to quickly hire and train new staff to help alleviate this problem, and we also encourage more travelers to enroll in TSA PreCheck as we move into another record-setting travel season.”
The organization also has advice for fliers. To improve the travel experience, Airlines for America recommends these three things:
- Enroll in expedited screening programs, such as PreCheck or Global Entry.
- Get to the airport earlier.
- If you do experience a long line at the airport, share your wait time on the website ihatethewait.com or on Twitter using the hashtag #iHateTheWait.
The one bit of good news is that airfares are falling as the airlines compete to accommodate all those passengers, making air travel more affordable than ever. Airlines for America says U.S. airlines are reinvesting their profits to improve the passenger experience, by acquiring new planes, installing Wi-Fi and entertainment options, and improving IT systems and mobile technology.