TSA predicts long security lines at ANC if passenger numbers hit record high
If you're planning to travel through Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport this summer, you should be prepared to have some company.
The Transportation Security Administration is predicting a record-breaking year for passengers at the airport. Lorie Dankers with TSA Public Affairs said the agency expects to screen 50,000 passengers a week starting in June and up to 80,000 a week in the busy period between mid-July and mid-August.
"That's a 60% increase over what we would normally see," said Dankers. "So keep in mind it will be very busy here. But with preparation you'll be able to make it through the checkpoint without much problem."
Airlines offer more flights in the summer, often with bigger planes. That means more people in the airport trying to get through security. Dankers said passengers should be aware that some times are busier than others, including Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The busiest times of day are estimated to be:
- 4 - 6 a.m.
- Noon to 3 p.m.
- 9 p.m. to midnight
Dankers advises passengers to plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours before their flights during peak hours.
Another way to keep lines moving is to make sure you know what is allowed in your carry-on luggage and what isn't. While TSA agents have the final call on whether an item makes it through security, the administration provides some guidelines on its website.
Dankers said people who bring prohibited items can slow down operations for everyone.
"Everybody behind you has to wait while that bag check occurs or while they rerun that bag and we don't want to see that," said Dankers. "Especially with the numbers that we are looking to screen through the checkpoint this summer."
To save time waiting in long lines, Dankers encourages people to apply for TSA Precheck. It costs $85 but the status, if approved, is good for five years. Dankers said people who have Precheck are not required to remove their shoes or jackets or take liquids or electronics out of their bags.
In Anchorage, the TSA Precheck Enrollment Center is located in the University Center Mall. There's a list of other locations throughout the state on the TSA website.
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