After a debacle in December over long wait times for the holidays, transportation officials are preparing for another rush during spring break travel season.
TSA takes the blame for extreme security wait times in December
Officials at Denver International Airport are anticipating possible record-setting crowds, with passenger volume surging 10-15% above average.
The Transportation Security Administration says it has learned lessons after not properly staffing DIA checkpoints overnight on December 28-29, 2015.
In regards to the upcoming rush, a TSA spokesperson provided Denver7 with this statement:
“We recognize that longer than normal wait times are a concern. The recent increases are caused by the rapid growth in travel volume combined with a renewed emphasis on rigorous screening, following testing that showed unacceptable results. Our security is now improved, and that is our most important obligation to the public. But we are mindful of the impact this has on travelers, who are now waiting longer on average than they used to. We are working collaboratively with our airport and airline partners. We are also encouraging members of the public to have an improved travel experience by enrolling in TSA Pre?®, which provides a more streamlined screening experience and shorter wait times.”
The wait time concern extends beyond Denver. Passengers at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport have also dealt with slowdowns. In fact, the TSA administrator recently visited the facility to address the complaints.
Airport officials recommend you arrive two hours prior to your flight to allow time to pass through security. TSA officials also recommend its pre-check program, allowing qualified passengers to use an expedited lane.
Officials from @DENAirport say #passengers should arrive at least two hours before #flight #SpringBreak pic.twitter.com/zPSSuQa6aF
— Marc Stewart Denver7 (@MarcKMGH) March 14, 2016
On average, wait times are about 6-8 minutes and 20 minutes during peak times, the TSA estimated.
Denver7 conducted an informal study with travelers during the afternoon rush, confirming the projected wait times.
Another factor to be aware of: if you're traveling this week, there's a good chance of snow by Friday.
Stay up to date on the forecast here.