CLT flyer says TSA lines are “the worst they've ever seen” – WSOC Charlotte

CHARLOTTE – Most air travelers are aware of the pain that comes with vacation travel and do what they can to alleviate it.

Unfortunately, preparation and planning don’t seem to amount to much this holiday season at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

He said boarding and parking isn’t the problem – the problem is getting from the entrance to the airport and to your scheduled flight.

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A viewer called into the Channel 9 newsroom and told us it was the worst line they had ever seen on a holiday, even worse than Thanksgiving, which CLT expected to be the busiest day of the year .

Only two TSA lines are open, one of which is exclusive to PreCheck members, the viewer said. Checkpoints 1 and E are open, the rest are closed. We have asked airport officials and TSA to confirm this.

It took this viewer 45 minutes to reach the TSA at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, but TSA officers told him it would only get worse as the day went on.

Channel 9’s photographer at the airport said the line from Checkpoint 1 to Checkpoint E was almost jammed. He also said the snake was moving quickly.

TSA told Channel 9 that they expect a busier travel season nationwide than last year, and on the busiest days the agency will screen more than 2.5 million passengers daily. The agency expects December 21, December 22 and January 1 to be the busiest.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, the TSA screened nearly 30 million passengers, breaking the nation’s record for the most passengers in a single day.

“We are prepared to handle the high volume of passengers this winter holiday season,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske.

TSA has provided these tips to keep in mind while traveling:

  • Pack wisely and check the TSA website to see what is prohibited or text @askTSA to see if you are allowed to bring an item.
  • Arrive early – they say you should be at the airport 2 hours before your flight departure. CLT officials recommend that you arrive 2 hours before a domestic flight and 3 hours before an international flight.
  • Have your correct ID ready in the check line.
  • Make sure gifts are unwrapped and can be inspected. Otherwise, the TSA may have to unpack it to check what’s inside.
  • Enroll in TSA PreCheck. According to TSA, most PreCheck members wait less than five minutes at checkpoints.
  • In the time it took to publish this article, the number of delays doubled from eight to 17. American Airlines officials told Channel 9 that as of 6:45 a.m. there were nine AA flights delayed by more than 15 minutes CLT issued. They were unable to communicate how this happened. They expected many passengers to depart from CLT today.

    >> Updated at 7:40 p.m.: 163 flights delayed, 1 flight canceled

    Channel 9 reached out to airport officials and the TSA to ask why the other checkpoints are closed, whether this is the largest flight volume they’ve ever seen and what may be causing the headaches.

    This is a developing story; We will update as soon as we receive more information.

    (WATCH: December 22 – Travel rush increases at the airport)

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