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MSP's plan to speed up security lines: Fewer checkpoints, but more lanes

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A security revamp at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will leave Terminal 1 with just two checkpoints for passengers to go through screening – but officials say it will mean a faster, more efficient process than what's currently being used.

The Star Tribune reports the Metropolitan Airports Commission approved a one-year, $18 million plan to turn four existing checkpoints at the terminal into one, larger, 10-lane option. It will have more space for conveyor belts, and extra room for passengers to re-dress after getting through the line.

In addition, the Pioneer Press says the Hotdish restaurant on the other end of the terminal will be eliminated, making room for a second larger checkpoint.

Currently, there are eight checkpoints at Terminal 1, the airport says: six on the ticketing level, one international checkpoint on Concourse G, and a skyway security checkpoint (for those with carry-on baggage only).

But the Pioneer Press reports long security wait times are the chief complaint among travelers at MSP.

The airport says the average wait time is 20-25 minutes, but it can be nearly an hour at peak times. They recommend getting there two hours prior to a domestic flight's departure time, and two-and-a-half hours before for an international flight.

The Star Tribune says construction will start in the spring. Once completed, Terminal 1 will have two security checkpoints – one at each end of the ticketing area.

Last year, Travel+Leisure Magazine asked readers to name the airports with the best security checkpoints. MSP actually came in 11th, and the magazine said the airport's "efficiency" is due in part to the $3.2 billion overhaul completed in 2010. The skyway security access point, for those without checked bags, is noted as a highlight.

To get a heads-up on security checkpoint wait times, you can check the TSA app website (though the updates rely on users to submit the info, meaning it may be outdated).

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