Fewer security officers means longer airport wait

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Fewer security screeners and increased peak time travel has prompted Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to issue a new advisory.

Airport officials say travelers are urged to arrive 2½ hours before their domestic flight, extending the old advisory by half an hour.

Security screening waits have peaked beyond 45 minutes at the main terminal, said Patrick Hogan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission. Hogan said too many people have missed their flights recently.

Staffing changes at the federal Transportation Security Administration are the biggest reason for longer lines, Hogan told the St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/QeTTaP ).

“In Terminal 1, there are eight security checkpoints … and there used to be six that were permanently open,” Hogan said. “Now five are open at peak times, and it goes down to three at some times of the day.”

Hogan said another reason for the delays is increased air travel, which is up 6 percent at MSP compared to last year. Another reason, he said, is flight schedules.

“The airlines have condensed a lot of flights into early in the morning because that’s when people want to fly,” Hogan said.

TSA tracking statistics for MSP show that wait times have exceeded 30 minutes three times in March, said Seattle-based spokeswoman Lorie Dankers. The longest, at 42 minutes, occurred March 14, a Friday.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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