TSA: Expect long lines this summer at HNL

People flying out of the Daniel K. Inouye Honolulu International Airport this summer should anticipate longer security lines than usual.

The Transportation Security Administration and state Department of Transportation on Wednesday recommended that passengers departing the airport this summer arrive three hours prior to their scheduled flight departure during peak travel times in order to have time to complete the security screening process and arrive at their gate.

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The busiest days for TSA at the airport are projected to be Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The busiest times each day will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. due to a concentrated number of flight departures over a short period of time.

Every day this summer, there will be intervals when the number of departing passengers exceeds the capacity of TSA’s security checkpoints, making it essential that travelers arrive early and prepared, the agency said in news release.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day is expected to be the busiest summer travel season in history, TSA said.

Nine of the top 10 busiest weeks in TSA’s history occurred during the 2018 summer season. Many airports, including Honolulu’s, will likely set records based on current projections, TSA said.

“TSA is prepared for its busiest summer travel season on record,” said Jenel Cline, TSA Federal Security Director for Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. “We are committed to working closely with our airport and airline partners to ensure that our security operations are carried out in the most effective and efficient way. Travelers can assist us by taking a few minutes to prepare for the security screening process.”

Last summer, TSA screened more than 5.3 million departing travelers at the five Hawaii airports that provide commercial air service. Of that total, more than 2.9 million of those departed from Honolulu.

TSA is projecting that number to increase by at least 4% statewide this summer.

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To support the surge of travelers, TSA Hawaii hosted recruitment and hiring events earlier this year to ensure it is fully staffed and prepared to meet operational demands.

TSA also will utilize overtime as needed to extend the shifts of checkpoint security staff and convert existing part-time employees to full-time status, the agency said.

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