Lonely Planet Writer

Good news! TSA lines are significantly shorter...just in time for your summer vacation

Stateside passengers have finally gotten some good news from the Transport Security Administration (TSA); those pesky screening lines are finally getting shorter.

People wait in a security line operated by the TSA at JFK Airport on May 24, 2016.
People wait in a security line operated by the TSA at JFK Airport on May 24, 2016. Image by Spencer Platt/Getty

The latest figures indicate that over Memorial weekend – traditionally a hectic time for travellers – 99% of passengers waited less than 30 minutes for security in US airports, while 93% waited less than 15 minutes. The improved numbers drew praise from its critics and will undoubtedly reassure millions of US travellers looking forward to their summer vacations.

The good news comes after videos and photos of 3-hour waits went viral last month. Peter Neffenger, the head of TSA, told a United States Senate committee about the significant progress on Tuesday, crediting an increase in lanes and staff numbers in some of the country’s biggest airports.

Peter Neffenger, administrator of the TSA testifies during the hearing on "Frustrated Travelers: Rethinking TSA Operations to Improve Passenger Screening and Address Threats to Aviation" on Tuesday.
Peter Neffenger, administrator of the TSA testifies during the hearing on “Frustrated Travelers: Rethinking TSA Operations to Improve Passenger Screening and Address Threats to Aviation” on Tuesday. Image by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

A viral campaign entitled #IHateTheWait began last month, started by trade group Airlines for America, encouraged people to take to social media to post pictures of the long queues they endured in airports. Many airlines also spoke out against the queues, which caused many flights to be delayed and passengers to miss their flights. The combination of public and political pressure appears to have paid off.

With shorter wait-times, travellers can avail of some more good news; US flights are at their cheapest point in seven years. Now you have no excuse not to book the flight.