Have you flown in the last few months? It seems TSA lineups, or the lines for security at airports, have been crazy. Maui is no exception.
Kahului airport’s TSA lineups have been making the news here in Hawaii. Facebook and various news outlets have shown pictures of travelers in huge lines on the sidewalk outside the airport, standing in the sun, getting their last minute tans (or burns). The airport recently announced they have awnings on order that should be arriving in the next 2-3 weeks to provide shade, and the news has reported there’ve been airport staff handing out water to those needing it.
The TSA lineups seem to be worst between 10am-2pm. Why is this?
The official story we’re getting is that it’s due to airline scheduling, with a large number of large planes leaving in early afternoons and simply overwhelming the airport.
What can you do?
Try having an earlier or later flight to avoid that crunch time. I don’t know if airlines are able to or will adjust their schedules to alleviate the crunch. There are eight security lines, with a ninth one being added for end of August.
If you fly regularly, sign up for TSA pre-check. This line is usually much shorter and less of a hassle to get through (provided the pre-check line is open). If you have Nexus or Global Entry, I believe it automatically gives you TSA pre-check.
Download the MyTSA app. This is the TSA’s official app that gives you wait estimates and tells you if the pre-check line is open.
Be smart about your packing. Know the security rules and have your ID, liquids and electronics ready to go to keep the line moving when it’s your turn. Consider checking luggage.
Arrive in plenty of time (the airport is currently recommending 3 hours minimum during these peak times, though there are stories of people still missing their flights with that kind of lead time).
Bring your patience and water bottles. Hopefully you’ll just breeze through, but be prepared just in case the line is bad.