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39 Major US Airports, Ranked by How Long It Takes to Get Through Airport Security

United States News Airports + Flying
by Olivia Harden Apr 1, 2022

It’s no secret that airport security can be quite a pain with all of the many rules to follow. And even if you’re a frequent flier, that doesn’t mean everyone around you at the airport is, meaning you might be stuck at the mercy of your fellow passengers. Some airports, however, are worse than others.

Bounce, a company specializing in luggage storage, conducted some research to find the airports with the best, and worst, wait times to get through security in the United States (the study, however, doesn’t cover the wait lines for tickets, navigating the terminal, and dropping off and picking up luggage).

Photo: Bounce

The 10 US airports with the longest wait times at security

  • Miami International, Florida: 46 minutes, 57 seconds
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Florida: 46 minutes, 41 seconds
  • San Fransisco International, California: 45 minutes, 56 seconds
  • John F. Kennedy International, New York: 44 minutes, 54 seconds
  • O’Hare International, Illinois: 39 minutes, 26 seconds
  • St. Louis Lambert International, Missouri: 39 minutes, 17 seconds
  • Palm Beach International, Florida: 38 minutes, 42 seconds
  • Oakland International, California: 37 minutes, 22 seconds
  • Fresno/Yosemite International, California: 37 minutes, 15 minutes
  • San Diego International, California: 35 minutes, 22 seconds

The 10 US airports with the shortest wait times at security

  • Raleigh-Durham International, North Carolina: 16 minutes, nine seconds
  • Baltimore/Washington International, Maryland: 19 minutes, 14 seconds
  • Charlotte Douglas International, South Carolina: 19 minutes, 15 seconds
  • Newark Liberty International, New Jersey: 19 minutes, 46 seconds
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, Kentucky: 19 minutes, 50 seconds
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Michigan: 20 minutes, 24 seconds
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International, Arizona: 22 minutes, 34 seconds
  • San Antonio International, Texas: 22 minutes, 36 seconds
  • Austin-Bergstrom International, Texas: 23 minutes, six seconds
  • Sacramento International, California: 24 minutes, nine seconds

The data for airport security checks were sourced from TSA Wait Times, while average wait times for passport clearance were sourced from US Customs and Border Protection’s Airport Wait Times data.

There are some tips and tricks to getting through airport security faster, the first being investing in a service like CLEAR, which bumps you to the front of the line, or Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. If, for whatever reason, that isn’t an option, be sure to be fully prepared to take everything off, wear slip-on shoes, and opt for digital tickets.

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