It's spring break season, so that means the airport is going to be busy.
And we mean a lot busier. TSA says travel during spring break season will be at a 10-year high, with agents expected to screen 62 million travelers at U.S. airports in the month of March alone.
That includes a lot of people at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, which is expected to see 6.5 percent more passengers flying out of the airport this year compared to last year. The busiest travel month is – you guessed it – March, a release says.
On average, TSA screens about 31,000 travelers daily at MSP. But on the busiest days this month, TSA will be screening more than 40,000 people, Lorie Dankers, a spokesperson for TSA, told GoMN.
These are projected to be the busiest days this month, according to Dankers:
- Thursday, March 9 and Friday, March 10 – TSA expects to screen more than 44,000 people at MSP.
- Wednesday, March 15 – more than 40,000.
- Thursday, March 16 – more than 43,000.
- Friday, March 17 – more than 45,000.
- Sunday, March 19 – more than 42,000.
- Monday, March 20 – more than 40,000.
- Thursday, March 23 – more than 42,000.
- Friday, March 24 – more than 41,000.
The busiest times of day to fly at MSP are between 5-8 a.m., 9-11 a.m., and 2-4 p.m., Dankers notes.
Will the lines be as bad as last year?
If you remember last spring, people were seeing hour-long waits at security lines at MSP and across the country due to a shortage in screeners.
But TSA says that won't be a problem this year, noting it tracks daily screening operations at all major airports so it can "rapidly address any problems that arise" by sending more agents, canine teams and technology when needed.
Even though TSA says it's prepared, unexpected delays can happen. Dankers and MSP officials suggest getting to the airport two hours before your flight to make sure you have enough time to park (parking will likely be busy), get through security, and get to your gate – especially if you're flying on one of the dates listed above.
And to keep those security lines moving quickly – for you and everyone behind you – officials suggest being prepared. Have your ID and boarding pass ready, along with your appropriately sized liquids already in a quart-sized bag.