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TSA delays getting worse at airports


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I've read through all the posts for this thread and found the content interesting...

 

I am a NEXUS card holder due in large part to my frequent travel to Canada. My NEXUS card gives me access to Global Entry and TSA pre-check status on all my flights. The value goes far beyond the small expense that you pay. I travel frequently for work and for personal reasons. The time I save is immensely important to me. However, I recognize the longer lines at airports and do think that something needs to be done. I routinely arrive earlier at airports I do not travel through often just so I am not surprised by a closed TSA lane.

 

With all this said, I do think there is a lot that people can do to improve their own experience at the airport. I am never surprised at the large number of adults (and younger passengers) that are clueless about navigating airport security, the "do's and don'ts" for what to pack (or leave home), paying attention to the TSA staff, etc. I can confirm I have seen less than professional behavior, but I am sure that it stems from all the frustration that comes with passengers doing dumb things, not paying attention, not listening, etc. Just because you are on vacation does not mean you leave your brain at home.

 

Wishing you all the best travel experiences possible.

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So I am really clued out to all these cards.

We live in Canada, so is NEXUS the one we want. ?

Just looked up application on line and it takes up to 5 months and the fee is in US dollars.

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We have the Nexus cards & still waited at the border from Vancouver to Seattle for 45 minutes (in the Global Entry line). Not sure what was going on

 

Nexus is definitely worth the fee at cruise ports

 

School breaks & holidays are the worst to travel, that's when you get the folks that seldom travel

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We have the Nexus cards & still waited at the border from Vancouver to Seattle for 45 minutes (in the Global Entry line). Not sure what was going on
To clarify.... which day? What time? What was the projected wait for the regular line?
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It is interesting to calculate at what point it is better to drive than fly with the current delays that flying has.

 

Consider 2 cases. Both involve a trip from your home to a destination 800 miles away. I am going to also assume that you do not live in a crowded eastern area where driving speeds are limited but somewhere in the West where you can cruise at 75 to 80 MPH.

 

Option 1 - drive. Assuming that you average 75 MPH (we have typically averaged 72 MPH when we drive from Las Vegas to Denver), it would take 11.4 hours to drive the 800 miles.

 

Option 2 - flying.

 

Assume that it takes 2 hours to drive from your home to the airport, park the car and get to the terminal - 2 hours

Stand in line at the ticket counter to check in - 0.75 hours

TSA lines - 2 hours conservatively given current delays

Arrive at airplane gate, wait until boarding and wait until take off - 0.75 hours

Flight time from push back to arrival - 2 hours

Walk to baggage pickup - 0.25 hours

Wait for luggage - 0.5 hours

Wait for hotel pickup and drive to hotel - 0.3 hours

 

Total portal to portal flying time - 8.85 hours

 

You can argue with my exact figures but the bottom line is that for any trip under 1000 miles, it hardly pays to drive given the current problems with the airline industry.

 

Think about it.

 

DON

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I am an advocate of GOES. We travel internationally and it makes going through Customs and Immigration a breeze when we return to the U.S.

 

Make sure you update your Frequent Flyer profiles, with your GOES (Trusted Traveler) information, on all airlines you have a membership in. This will give you TSA Pre-Check (when it's available) when you fly domestic.

 

Also: If you have an actual American Express Platinum or Centurion card, Amex will credit the $100 fee for GOES. Nice deal. That is what enticed me to enroll and I'm glad I did. I can't think of how much time it has saved when traveling.

 

One tip: If you can book your flight to leave between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. the TSA lines are much shorter. Another good incentive to fly in the day before the cruise.

 

Take care,

Mike

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A TSA fiasco in Phoenix resulted in 3,000 checked bags being left behind. I can just imagine how that would affect getting to a cruise. They said it would take three days for the luggage to catch up.:eek::eek:

 

Article: http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/airlines-airports/bags-stranded-phoenix-tsa

 

Now PHX is considering hiring a private firm and getting rid of TSA.

 

Cheers!

 

 

The issue there was with the baggage scanning equipment. Not really a TSA issue.

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Ok, so I've been reading this thread and also tweets from US friends.

So can someone please tell me what TSA stands for (apart from "not fit for purpose")

I am from the UK and travel extensively (I've even been to the States a few times). Security throughout Europe and elsewhere has been tightened and enhanced, but so have the systems and scanning procedures. Although getting through security takes longer than it used to, it's still manageable within the normal timescales for check in etc.,

So what's the problem in the USA? Getting into your country has always been a bit of a "mare" due to the over exuberance of your immigration processes, but we just laugh about it and go with the flow. Getting out of the USA never used to be a problem, apart from your rather, how shall I put this delicately, somewhat Dickensian procedures. So what's happened to cause such lengthy hold ups?

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DH and I have been given Pre Check through Delta since it started. We've never paid to enroll so I realize that should we book a different airline

 

Well, that gives me a warm & fuzzy feeling. Let me ex-plane :confused:

 

I travel twice a month by air. Over 2 years ago I purchased the Pre-TSA for $85 to save time in security lines. But what I found was that my time in line was not shorten very much, especially now. Why? Because TSA was letting many passengers who never purchase Pre TSA to go in that line; only reason I found out was to decrease numbers in regular lines. Congress held hearings on this a year ago and found that only 1 in 8 in the Pre TSA line paid the fee.

There was a reason for this line; to pre-screen passengers prior to going through security.

 

For those who may not know the $85 or $100 was not a fee to get special treatment like paying extra at a Disney property to get in the short lines at rides. The fee is to used to perform a background check on you plus you are fingerprinted. One of the first questions you read on line about the Pre TSA is "If you have been convicted of a felony we suggest you not apply" :eek: !

 

That's why I do not feel very confident with any of our security system at airports when +80% of passengers in Pre TSA were never pre-screened; as least as of last year.

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Agree.

 

100 TSA screeners walk off the job each week requiring even more people to be hired and trained. Also TSA was embarrassed last year when undercover investigators were 95% successful smuggling mock explosives past screeners, causing them to tighten up security.

 

Applied for and received GOES earlier this year in surprisingly painless proccess. No more taking off shoes. As an added bonus global entry is supposed to be in place at cruise ports later this year hopefully expediting debarkation.

 

Big incentive if this is true about cruise ports. Do you have a link with more information?

 

We use the same airports and airlines when we fly. About 85% of the time we get pre-check on our boarding passes even though we never applied. Does it help that we have frequent flier numbers and profiles on the airline websites?

Edited by Lazz
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It is interesting to calculate at what point it is better to drive than fly with the current delays that flying has.

 

Consider 2 cases. Both involve a trip from your home to a destination 800 miles away. I am going to also assume that you do not live in a crowded eastern area where driving speeds are limited but somewhere in the West where you can cruise at 75 to 80 MPH.

 

Option 1 - drive. Assuming that you average 75 MPH (we have typically averaged 72 MPH when we drive from Las Vegas to Denver), it would take 11.4 hours to drive the 800 miles.

 

Option 2 - flying.

 

Assume that it takes 2 hours to drive from your home to the airport, park the car and get to the terminal - 2 hours

Stand in line at the ticket counter to check in - 0.75 hours

TSA lines - 2 hours conservatively given current delays

Arrive at airplane gate, wait until boarding and wait until take off - 0.75 hours

Flight time from push back to arrival - 2 hours

Walk to baggage pickup - 0.25 hours

Wait for luggage - 0.5 hours

Wait for hotel pickup and drive to hotel - 0.3 hours

 

Total portal to portal flying time - 8.85 hours

 

You can argue with my exact figures but the bottom line is that for any trip under 1000 miles, it hardly pays to drive given the current problems with the airline industry.

 

Think about it.

 

DON

 

 

Yep, I agree!! This is why we don't fly from Nashville down to Dallas anymore. I would rather be wasting my time on the roads then at the airport. Plus we can pack a cooler and large "no no" items, ha ha. Also, with gas so much cheaper it is far more economical.

with gas so much cheaper it is far more economical.

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Based on what time I plan on being at the airport this Friday, I will spend as much time "on the ground" (the moment I walk out my door until I board the plane) as I will in the air. I'm flying from Chicago to Seattle. It's scheduled to be a 4 hour and 20 minute flight.

 

In the past, I could get to the airport 2 hours before the flight and still have to wait at the gate for an hour. This time.... you just don't know.

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You can argue with my exact figures but the bottom line is that for any trip under 1000 miles, it hardly pays to drive given the current problems with the airline industry.

 

you mean "hardly pays to fly"?

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Oh and another thing, mentioned by a radio host yesterday on this very subject of lines at TSA. Now thinking of what just happened in Berlin in recent months; think of the people waiting in line on the outside of security. The soft target would be easy and very horrible....just saying.

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Right now it's being suggested that passengers get to the airport 3 hours before their flight leaves. Personally speaking, I won't cut it that close! I'll be there 4 hours before.

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Big incentive if this is true about cruise ports. Do you have a link with more information?

 

We use the same airports and airlines when we fly. About 85% of the time we get pre-check on our boarding passes even though we never applied. Does it help that we have frequent flier numbers and profiles on the airline websites?

 

 

It's been discussed across a number of forums. Here's a link to one about GOES at Port Everglades. A google search reveals many others.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2300937

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It's been discussed across a number of forums. Here's a link to one about GOES at Port Everglades. A google search reveals many others.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2300937

 

Including this very thread - see post #21

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=50000584&postcount=21

 

Mike

Edited by mandream
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I am glad I saw this thread. Last time I flew was in January and it was a snap getting through the lines. The next time I will fly is next month. That will be an international flight (not sure if that makes any difference as far as lines go). I just checked the Atlanta airport website and it suggests arriving 3 hours prior to departure...in January when I flew it was 1 hour. However, the wait time listed is 15 minutes for security screening. Why would a person need to arrive 3 hours in advance for a 15 minute line? Just curious.

I've always used the old guidelines of 1 hour for domestic and 90 minutes for international.

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I am glad I saw this thread. Last time I flew was in January and it was a snap getting through the lines. The next time I will fly is next month. That will be an international flight (not sure if that makes any difference as far as lines go). I just checked the Atlanta airport website and it suggests arriving 3 hours prior to departure...in January when I flew it was 1 hour. However, the wait time listed is 15 minutes for security screening. Why would a person need to arrive 3 hours in advance for a 15 minute line? Just curious.

I've always used the old guidelines of 1 hour for domestic and 90 minutes for international.

 

Because at some times the wait might be 15 minutes and at other times it might be 2 hours. Show up early or take your chances that you get lucky.

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We always get to the airport early just in case there is a line at security, but you can only be so early. We tried to check our bags at FLL after a cruise and were there just over three hours before flight time. They refused to take our bags and check us in. The agents said they can only take bags three hours or less before flight time. I wish I could remember which airline it was as we've flown out of FLL numerous times on different airlines and I can't remember which time we were refused. We had to stand to the side until we were within the three hour limit. I would hope that they've changed that rule if the lines are becoming so long that it takes three hours to get through security not at FLL in particular, but at other larger airports).

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Recommendation for all travelers: Get the TSA Precheck pass. If they still offer the GOES (works going through U.S. customs from some countries) get that. It will be one of the best $100 you'll ever spend.

 

You can Google it and start the process. Overall it took a couple of months for my husband and I. If the airport has it offered, you skip the long line into a much shorter one. No taking off your shoes, belts or jackets any more. Coming in from certain countries, e.g. Great Britain, same thing. Special kiosks that read your card and fingerprint, print a receipt type thing and you go right up to a customs officer while those poor other people wait in a line that seems to go on forever.

 

Once you get your card, put it on all your plane tickets. There is usually a spot for it. If not call the airline and have them put it on file. Then it prints right on your boarding pass.

 

I hear that even those pre-check lines are long.

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Right now it's being suggested that passengers get to the airport 3 hours before their flight leaves. Personally speaking, I won't cut it that close! I'll be there 4 hours before.

 

We tried that at a couple of busy airports (Denver and LAX) and were told we were not allowed to check our luggage until 3 hours before. You can't win.

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