Huge lines at airport security can be a nuisance or a disaster, depending on what time you show up for your flight. To know what you’re up against, Upgraded Points conducted a study that looked at data on Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wait times at America’s 25 busiest airports in 2018 to determine the nation’s fastest and slowest security checkpoints.
According to the study, the nation’s airport with the slowest airport security wait time is Newark Liberty International (EWR), where the average time spent in line is 23.1 minutes. Show up on a Monday between 12 noon and 1 p.m., and you may get stuck in a 60-minute wait. The other airports in the bottom five included George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), Miami International (MIA), Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) and McCarran International (LAS).
The country’s fastest airport security line was Salt Lake City International (SLC), with an average wait time of 9.1 minutes. The study also noted that if you rolled into SLC on a Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m., you would have an average wait time of only two minutes. Despite being one of the biggest airports in the United States, Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) came in second, with an average security wait of 10.5 minutes.
Why do wait times fluctuate so much? According to TSA press secretary Jenny Burke, it’s because no two airports are the same – even if they have the same TSA setups.
“There’s an adage, ‘If you’ve seen one airport, you’ve seen one airport,’ because the profile, the footprint, is different at all the checkpoints,” Burke says. “There are all different reasons for why lines might vary from airport to airport.”
If you’re nervous about flying, this one might not be for you. Qantas on Thursday said it’s going to run “research” flights from London and New York to Sydney — a 19-hour route — to see how it affects passengers’ health.
The Australian airline giant said the three test flights would contain a maximum of 40 people. That includes crew members and a research team on board who will look at things like sleep patterns and food consumption “to assess impact on health, wellbeing and body clock.”
Qantas said that passengers — who mostly consist of its own staff — will be fitted with wearable devices to run tests throughout the flights. The company says it has already conducted experimental flights along its direct Perth to London service.
Boeing’s 787-9 aircraft will be used for the tests, and Qantas said both Boeing and its European competitor Airbus are pitching jets for the long-haul routes. A final decision on whether to run the flights will be made by the end of the year, Qantas said.