Spring break traffic at MSP: More people, less waiting

Travelers encounter quick security checks

MINNEAPOLIS -- TSA screening numbers at MSP airport are already breaking records as spring break season begins, but travelers are thankful that security wait times are doing the opposite.

A year after TSA lines snaked through the MSP ticketing area, the Swenson family decided to play it extra safe with the spring break airport strategy.

"We actually got here four hours early, assuming it was going to take forever to get through here," Kent Swenson said. "But it was nice to see that nobody was around."

Though the ticketing and security areas looked to be moving quickly on Monday, it wasn't because there was nobody around. On Friday the TSA set an all-time record at MSP with 47,241 people screened, and this week is set to be even busier. Yet, the wait times are consistently down, with most lines less than 15 minutes.

"It's definitely different from last year," said Melissa Scovronski, with the Metropolitan Airports Commission. "Last year spring break there was a lot of lines here. Over the last year I think TSA has done a lot of work to figure out the best way to get people through as fast as possible."

According to TSA, this year they are paying officers overtime to keep lines fully staffed, while also using canines to help speed security checks.

For the past several months the Metropolitan Airport Commission has also been paying a staff of people to help travelers find the quickest gates.

"A big difference, it makes it go really easy," said Mitch Carlson, who flew out on Friday, when the TSA set the screening record.

Mitch and Abby Carlson say their young family didn't encounter any major issues flying out. The Swenson family has also been impressed with the new approach.

"Somebody grabbed us and they whisked us through another line, so it was super nice," Kent Swenson said. "Didn't have to wait."

With yet another TSA screening record expected on Friday, officials urge everyone to still get to the airport at least two hours before their flight. The Metropolitan Airports Commission is also asking travelers to consider getting dropped off or taking the light rail. Parking is filling up fast.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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