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Have you been seeing the incredibly long TSA screening lines at airports lately?  My Vacation Lady certainly has and we’re getting concerned about it for our clients who are traveling soon.

We recently heard that over 6000 passengers missed their American Airlines flights last week because of how long the TSA security lines have been.   We’ve heard that the TSA has reduced the number of agents because they expected many people to sign up for the TSA pre-check program.  Well, that didn’t happen quite as well as they hoped and now they are scrambling to increase staff with new hires and lots of overtime.

The summer travel season will be upon us very soon so here are some tips on how NOT to miss your flight due to long TSA lines.

  1. Get to the airport extra early— at least 2 hours for a domestic flight and 3-4 hours for an international flight
  2. Fly from smaller airports, if possible.  Rather than flying from Ohare in Chicago, try Midway.  Rather than JFK in New York, try Islip or Westchester.
  3. Try to avoid the most popular days and times to travel.  Weekends are always busy, as are Monday mornings.  Afternoons may be quieter.
  4. If you are flying home from a cruise at a busy airport like Miami, Fort Lauderdale or San Juan, book a late afternoon flights (after 3pm) and take an excursion which will include transfers to the airport.  Since most cruisers book flights around noon, a 4pm flight or later may offer some relief.
  5. It may be a good time to sign up for Global Entry (if you travel internationally frequently) or TSA pre-check 

Because TSA pre check, and Global Entry both require time to apply and be approved, if you are flying within the next few weeks, and your flights are already booked, GET THERE EARLY.

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