These 5 U.S. Airports have the Longest TSA Security Wait Times

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The next 3 months will undoubtedly be the busiest times for air travel this year. Fueled by 2 years of lock-downs, people have been deprived of vacations.

Now is the time for them to get out into the world and make up for all those missed flights and destinations.

With kids being out of school and a lot of parents able to take their vacation, this summer is looking like one for the books. Airlines are selling flights at pre-pandemic levels, and airports and airlines are having trouble with the unprecedented demand for air travel.

From understaffed airlines to hour long security lines at airports, the truth of the matter is that air travel this summer will be nothing short of chaotic over the next few months.

people against the background of large light window

There are however ways to mitigate long wait times and one of the best ways to do that is by avoiding airports with the longest wait times because let’s face it; not every airport is the same.

Frequent domestic flyers know that no two airports are ever alike, and we all have that one airport that we dread flying into or out of.

Some airports aren’t just inconvenient or more expensive to fly out of, some actually require longer security wait times.

This means that if you want to make your travels easier this summer, you’ll be wise to avoid these 5 airports with the longest TSA wait times.
Passengers in an airport

Bounce analyzed data from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the US Customs and Border Protection. To determine the average wait time at each airport, the company totaled the wait times at security and passport control.

Be aware that the list does not include time spent collecting luggage or traveling through terminals, passengers should therefore anticipate even longer wait times.

The US airports with the longest wait times

Long Wait Line Of People Queuing At An Airport, Travel Chaos Concept

5. O’Hare International Airport (Chicago, Illinois)

Total wait time: 39 minutes, 26 seconds

Average security wait time: 19 minutes, 18 seconds

Average passport control wait time: 20 minutes, 8 seconds

O’Hare International Airport is the world’s fourth-busiest airport, serving around 54 million passengers in 2021.

Chicago, USA - April 28, 2011: Passengers walking through Chicago O'Hare International Airport - also known as ORD.

4. John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York, New York)

Total wait time: 45 minutes, 54 seconds

Average security wait time: 25 minutes 

Average passport control wait time: 19 minutes, 54 seconds

John F. Kennedy International Airport is the busiest airport in New York, serving 30.7 million passengers in 2021.

jfk airport at night

3. San Francisco International Airport (San Francisco, California)

Total wait time: 45 minutes, 56 seconds

Average security wait time: 27 minutes, 48 seconds

Average passport control wait time: 18 minutes, 8 seconds

San Francisco International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the US, serving over 24 million passengers in 2021.

The San Francisco International airport or SFO at dusk

2. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Total wait time: 46 minutes, 41 seconds

Average security wait time: 18 minutes, 18 seconds

Average passport control wait time: 28 minutes, 23 seconds

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is one of three airports in the greater Miami area. More than 28 million passengers traveled through the airport in 2021.

Passengers entering customs at Miami International Airport

1. Miami International Airport (Miami, Florida)

Total wait time: 46 minutes 57 seconds

Average security wait time: 24 minutes, 54 seconds

Average passport control wait time: 22 minutes, 3 seconds

Miami International Airport is Florida’s second-busiest airport. It served over 37 million passengers in 2021.

The airport has an online security checkpoint portal that states the expected wait time.

If you want to minimize travel troubles for this summer, be sure to avoid these 5 airports above, and if you can’t avoid them be sure to give yourself plenty of time between connecting flights and departures.

READ MORE:

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