Updated:
Original:

It only takes about 10 minutes to get through customs at MSP Airport

Here's some helpful info if you're planning an international trip.
Author:

If you're coming home to the U.S. after a long international flight, the last thing you want to do is wait in line forever to get through customs. 

Luckily for Minnesotans, a new study shows our airport is pretty good at getting travelers through the process. 

The folks at MileCards.com analyzed data provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to determine the best and worst airports for customs wait times. (They looked at the average wait time at airports that processed over 500,000 international passengers between October 2016 and September 2017.

The study found Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has the third-fastest customs lines among the busiest U.S. airports (those processing more than 3 million passengers from abroad). 

MSP's average wait time? About 10 minutes.

MSP came in behind Charlotte Douglas International Airport, which has an average wait time of just under 9 minutes. But Phoenix takes the cake – the airport generally gets travelers through customs in just 7.4 minutes.

"If you don’t want to wait in line, plan to come home through one of these three airports," MileCards.com says.

Orlando International Airport was deemed the worst of the large airports for processing international travelers, with an average wait of over 23 minutes, and a maximum wait of nearly one hour. San Francisco International Airport was second-worst, followed by New York's JFK.

Among airports of all sizes, Sacramento was worst with an average wait time of over 32 minutes.

Other findings

While MSP scored high on this study, the lines at customs don't always move that fast – the average maximum wait stretches to 26 minutes.

That's more likely to happen if you arrive on an international flight between 1 and 2 p.m., which the study found is the worst arrival time for MSP.

Over the 12-month period of the study, the longest wait time was 146 minutes, and it happened between 1 and 2 p.m. on Jan. 9, 2017.

Based on its findings, MileCards.com has some other tips for international travelers, no matter what airport they're headed to.

Don't plan trips for July and August, the site says. You'll wait 17 minutes on average to get through customs.

And if you really want to beat the crows, fly when the average wait times are the lowest: February (average wait: 13.97 minutes), March (14.53 minutes), or November (14.8 minutes).

Next Up

uprooted tree in Burnsville

NWS: Tornadoes confirmed to have struck Apple Valley, Burnsville

A crazy night of storms may have included even more tornadoes.

police lights

Man charged with manslaughter after fistfight ends in death

The incident happened at a veterans housing complex in Chisholm.

Concert

Ellison reaches $1.9M settlement with StubHub over COVID cancellations

The ticket reselling giant will pay $1.87 million in refunds for Minnesota events.

Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen injured in car accident after swerving to miss a deer

Griffen was involved in the crash Thursday on his way to work.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 8.30.16 AM

DPS sparks furore with 'not reaching' pouches designed to stop police shootings

The pouches were developed in collaboration with Valerie Castile, whose son Philando was fatally shot by police while reaching for his permit-to-carry.

police lights

Maintenance worker finds 2 bodies in West St. Paul garage

It's unclear how long the bodies were in the garage before being discovered.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 10.42.39 AM

Tree branch falls on tent in Mankato, killing 4-year-old girl

The tree branch fell at approximately 2:30 a.m.

Related

Look at all the stuff MSP Airport has planned to keep you entertained during this busy MEA week

But look at all the special activities they'll have to keep you entertained and distracted.

Twice The Baggage: Top 10 winter getaways from MSP Airport

Sick of the snow before it's even started? Twice The Baggage is here to help.

MSP is once again the best airport for its size in North America

The Airports Council International survey puts MSP at No. 1.

Wait times MSP Airport security are among longest in the U.S.

Lines have been consistently long for the past five days.