These U.S. Airports Have the Shortest and Longest Wait Times, According to a New Study
Waiting in airport lines is an inevitable part of traveling, but wait times can vary dramatically depending on which airport you're departing from. To find out how the U.S. airports rank in terms of wait times, luggage storage company Bounce looked at both the average security line times via TSA Wait Times and passport control lines through the U.S. Customs & Border Protection's data to determine which airports require the most patience — and which you can speed through quickly.
The longest overall waits went to a pair of Florida airports. At Miami International Airport, travelers can expect to wait 24 minutes and 54 seconds in security and 22 minutes and 3 seconds at passport control. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has a faster security experience — it takes 18 minutes and 18 seconds — but longer passport control wait time, with travelers waiting 28 minutes and 23 seconds. The third slowest airport in the country is San Francisco, where travelers should expect to wait 27 minutes and 48 second in the security line, and 18 minutes and 8 seconds at passport control.
For the most-expedited airport experience, North Carolina airports rose to the top in efficiency. Raleigh-Durham International has an average wait time of 10 minutes at security, while Charlotte Douglas International's TSA wait time came in just under 10 minutes. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport also offers a fairly seamless experience; with an average of 10 minutes and 12 seconds for the security line and 9 minutes and 2 seconds in the passport line.
The study also broke it down just by each line. Where will you spend the most time in a security line? Palm Beach International Airport, St. Louis Lambert International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport. Newark Liberty International Airport, perhaps surprisingly, had the shortest security line, followed by a string of smaller airports, including Ontario International Airport, California, and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Texas.
For those coming back from international destinations, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood had the longest passport control line, followed by Miami and Chicago O'Hare.
The study looked at a year's worth of data between March 8, 2021 and March 7, 2022. Results of the full report can be seen here.