Travelers found long lines at security checkpoints at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Friday morning, but the waits were attributed to a rush of travel for the long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend — not a result of the government shutdown or shortages of TSA workers, said airport spokesman Patrick Hogan.
A full complement of TSA screeners was on duty at 6 a.m. Friday when lines from the north and south checkpoints crisscrossed in the middle of the terminal. The lines created anxious moments for some passengers, but passenger-screening canine teams kept security lines moving. Most travelers made it through security in about 15 minutes, Hogan said.
By 10:30 a.m., the airport was quiet, and lines were back to their normal length.
Early mornings are always busy, and the crush of passengers heading out for the extended holiday weekend added to crowds. Lines were longer than normal at airline ticket counters, too, Hogan said.
The average wait time to get through security without TSA PreCheck at MSP on Thursday was 36 minutes — a bit longer than normal 30-minute average wait times nationwide and the second-longest among top airports that day, according a TSA statement.
Fears over the ongoing government shutdown and a spike in TSA workers calling in sick have passengers wary. In Miami, an entire terminal was shut down due to a scarcity of TSA screeners. But Hogan said screeners have continued to show up for work at MSP even though they are not being paid.
He advised passengers to arrive two hours early to park, check luggage and get through security.