Skip to main content

We know airport security lines are long, and we're trying to fix it, agency says

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A busy summer travel season is approaching – and that means long lines at the airport.

Which actually might be nothing new, as airports around the country have been plagued by lengthy wait times at security gates in recent months. The lengthening lines have drawn complaints from travelers, with the most trouble reported at airports in Minneapolis, Seattle and Charlotte USA Today said.

Lengthy delays at MSP earlier this year had travelers waiting an average 48 minutes during peak travel times. That happened after the security line situation in Terminal One went from six small checkpoints to two large ones.

Security head is 'acutely aware' of the long lines

Jeh C. Johnson, secretary of the Department Homeland Security (which oversees the Transportation Security Administration, aka TSA), said in a news release Wednesday he is "acutely aware" of the problem, adding they've taken several steps over the last month to fix things.

Among them:

  • More officers and canine teams to speed up the security process
  • Trying to get more people to sign up for the PreCheck program. (But some travelers are reluctant to sign up for the program, NPR says, due to its cost.)
  • And "Optimization Teams" to streamline the process – like returning bins to the front of waiting lines.

More money would help, Johnson says

Johnson though says the TSA needs more money to keep things running smoothly. He asked Congress to approve more money to pay for TSA overtime and "critical short-term needs."

Congressional committees considered the request Wednesday, USA Today reported, and the Senate subcommittee approved shifting $34 million from one TSA account to another to hire and train 768 new officers and pay overtime for 42,500 officers. House counterparts said they would study the proposal, USA Today said.

Franken, Klobuchar have called out the TSA at MSP

Sen. Al Franken vowed to cut lines at MSP last month, and wrote a letter asking Homeland Security to come up with the money to hire more TSA workers.

Klobuchar also called on the TSA to increase screeners at MSP.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 10.18.12 AM

3 St. Paul fast food restaurants robbed in space of an hour

The thieves struck between 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.06.40 AM

What to do with the Kmart site? Minneapolis wants your ideas

The project will connect Nicollet Avenue south of Lake street and north of the Midtown Greenway, reestablishing a street grid.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 7.53.55 AM

Crowd evacuated at end of homecoming football game in Brooklyn Park

Police blamed 'unruly teens' in the stands and some who were trying to enter the stadium.


State to help 44 Minnesota gas stations add E15 pumps

The yellow 88 button is coming to more gas stations in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

FBI, police investigating bank robbery at Edina's 50th and France

An ATM technician was robbed by four men at a U.S. Bank.

Ethan Glynn

Paralyzed Bloomington football player begins rehabilitation in Colorado

Ethan Glynn is at a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital.

Press Bar fire

Owner of St. Cloud bar gets 6 years for arson, ordered to repay $3M

A February 2020 fire at the Press Bar and Parlor was later determined to be an insurance job.


Bloomington, Richfield districts tighten security ahead of weekend football

Enhanced safety measures will be in place this weekend.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 2.23.15 PM

Walz sends MN first responders to help with hurricane recovery in Florida

Eight members of the Minnesota All Hazards Incident Management Team will travel to Florida.


Long lines greet travelers at MSP security ahead of holiday weekend

MSP Airport said the holiday weekend, and not the government shutdown, is to blame.

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

Lines have been consistently long for the past five days.