Spring break, TSA cutbacks create long lines at MSP

MINNEAPOLIS---If you're ready to escape the snow and cold, get in line.

Airports are always a spring break hotspot, but Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport is 20 percent busier this week than usual.

"A lot of people are going for warmer weather," said college student Hannah Bregman.

Security lines are also busy, and they're not moving fast. TSA cutbacks mean fewer agents, closed checkpoints, and waits that some flyers say can be more than two hours.

"If you want to make sure you don't miss your flight," said MSP Spokesperson Patrick Hogan, "Give yourself extra time."

Bregman and her friends did exactly that on Monday as they left for a week in Phoenix. They arrived at the airport four hours early, and still needed every minute to make their flight.

"We were in overflow parking," Bregman said. "It was definitely surprising. I've never been that far back in a lot."

"I do not check bags during the month of March because the baggage claim is a little hectic right now, " said Ben Audet, who flew to Minneapolis from Chicago.

The delays are even greater during certain times and on certain days. Early mornings and Saturdays usually have the longest waits and Tuesdays and Wednesdays have the fewest parking spots.

The extra hassle during spring break week for many is a real trip.

"March and August are my least favorite times to fly," Audet said. "March because of spring break and the rates; August because of Europeans."

MSP Airport recommends checking parking availability before you leave to ensure airport ramps have space. You can get current information by calling 877-FLY-PARK, or you can text your ETA in minutes to 444555. For more information, go to www.mspairport.com.


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