Wanna know the current TSA wait times?
Well there is an app for that.
Yes there is an age old adage that your grandparents and I follow that you should always try to adhere to and that is to get to the airport atleast 2 hours early. Is that 2 hours before your boarding time or 2 hours before departure? Yes.
Now this isn’t always easy. I fly with family members that don’t understand that you cannot check bags after 45 min before departure. And that doesn’t mean the 45 minutes it usually takes to get through the bag check line. And usually if you have to wait for 45 minutes to check your bags you will have to wait that same amount of time at the security line dealing with some of the same irate passengers that thought getting to the airport an hour early was a good idea and now they just have 15 minutes before the boarding door closes and are nervously watching their watches and phones.
Anyways, I digress. But you can check an app for the time it takes on average to go through security. flightSpeak (Apple and Android) has a feature called checkpoint that uses crowdsourced wait times, the time of day, historical wait time, weather and number of scheduled flights. This is useful and can help determine what lines you will be facing. The app is fairly straight forward and if you let it know your location it will allow you to see it automatically. Otherwise just type in the airport you are at to see what times to expect. It also has other useful features about food and restrooms and wifi availability.
Another feature that the grand ole TSA is rolling out can be accessed (Apple and Android ) called MyTSA. It allows users to say how long they waited in line for and it records that for other users. It also lets you know if TSA PreCheck lanes are open and if there are any airport delays but the best part is the little graph at the bottom showing when the airport is least to most busy. This will help you gauge when to arrive. This app is brand new in 2017 and not a lot of users have used it to update the wait times, so the graphs are most helpful for now until the user base expands.
So are you going to try to arrive earlier for your next flight? Probably not, but these apps can help you manage the stress for when you do.
Oh and do you hate waiting in lines? Seriously get your TSA PreCheck. Most major travel credit cards cover it. Its $85 for 5 years working out to 17$ a year. You can afford that right?