Photo: Elizabeth Flores
Travelers flying out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Thursday and Friday can expect to spend more time than normal in line at security checkpoints.
Why? High passenger volume. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is expecting 35,000 travelers to pass through the body scanners and magnetometers on Thursday and 40,000 on Friday as folks make a Presidents’ Day weekend getaway. Normally about 31,000 passengers are screened on a daily average at MSP, the TSA said.
Here is when the TSA expects the most people at the airport and the longest lines:
• 6 to 8 a.m.: More than 4,000 passengers are expected to pass through the security checkpoint during this two-hour window.
• 9 a.m. to noon: More than 6,500 passengers are expected to pass through the security checkpoint during this three-hour window.
• 1 to 6 p.m.: Nearly 10,000 passengers are expected to pass through the security checkpoint in the afternoon, with the busiest time 1 to 2 p.m. and again from 5 to 6 p.m.
• 6 to 9 a.m.: Nearly 3,000 passengers are expected to pass through the security checkpoint in this three-hour window.
• 3 to 6 p.m.: More than 2,300 passengers are expected to pass through the security checkpoint in this three-hour window.
To keep the lines moving, the TSA offers these tips:
Arrive at the airport early enough to park your car or return a rental car, print boarding passes and check luggage, get through the security screening process and to the gate. Each step takes extra time when the airport is busy. It is recommended that travelers arrive at the airport two hours before the flight’s departure.
This holiday weekend is one of the highest volume weekends for oversized and odd-sized checked baggage. If you are traveling with skis, snowboards, golf clubs or any other specialized item, please allow extra time for these to be screened through the checked baggage system.
Passengers who bring prohibited items (guns, knives, machetes etc.) to the checkpoint slow the screening process for everyone.
Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768