Hour-long waits on first day of new MSP security, but officials say it'll get better

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The were lengthy lines at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Friday morning, after the new security checkpoint system was fully rolled out for the first time.

KARE 11 reports there were major slowdowns on the first day of the $17 million checkpoint upgrades at Terminal One (Lindbergh), with some morning passengers waiting up to 70 minutes to make it through security.

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) official admitted to the TV station that Friday was "a learning curve," but said despite the challenge it will eventually be "a much better experience" for travelers.

A spokesman told KSTP that the main problem with the delays was too many passengers were going to the south checkpoint instead of the north, leading to longer lines.

By about 5 p.m., things had improve to the extent that passengers were getting through "in minutes," the TV station said.

It is believed the new checkpoint system will reduce waiting times by 12 minutes on average, by creating two large checkpoints at either end of the terminal and closing the smaller checkpoints in the middle.

The overhaul will mean fewer checkpoints but more lanes, designed to make the process faster and more efficient than before.

WCCO notes that a real test of the new checkpoints' capabilities will come in a few weeks with the spring break travel season, when traffic through the airport doubles.

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