Frequent travelers will know that while security lines are a necessary evil, it’s preferable to spend the least possible amount of time standing in them. There are even apps designed to help people avoid long security lines—but these aren’t always effective. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of three United States airports with comparatively short wait times, so you can get through security and on your way faster.
Somewhat surprisingly, this tourist destination on Florida’s Gulf Coast typically provides travelers with short waits at security. This is largely due to the fact that the airport’s unique layout necessitates four separate security checkpoints, thereby allowing for better crowd distribution. Be forewarned, however, that in certain circumstances (such as the government shutdown in early 2019), the lines may be just as long—if not longer—than the ones at most major metropolitan airports. The same principles would likely apply to any airport, but it’s best to be aware that no one is exempt in these situations.
Considering its proximity to top tourist destinations—not to mention its stand-alone appeal—the security line situation in San Diego is a cut above its closest competitors. If you were planning on renting a car to explore southern California anyway, flying into San Diego instead of LAX could end up saving you a lot of time and hassle. Who wouldn’t prefer to spend their time driving along the Pacific coast rather than standing in a crowded line? One caveat: This rule doesn’t apply during busy holiday periods when the airport can sometimes be short-handed.
Long Beach represents another, closer alternative for LA travelers. This small community airport can be found three miles northeast of downtown Long Beach and is serviced by several major airlines. There is a catch, though. The airport is located right off the 405, which is world-famous for its traffic jams. If you’re planning on flying out of Long Beach, avoid rush hour at all costs. The shorter lines won’t be worth the time you’ll spend sitting in gridlocked traffic.
If you’re traveling to one of the areas mentioned here, put these airports on your short list when making your plans, and see if you can work the trip around them. The time you’ll save standing in line will free up precious time that could be better spent doing almost anything else.
Here is a great article talking about some of the best food found in the San Francisco airport!