At Logan, the Wait is Shorter -- Sometimes

This autumn, Logan passengers waited fewer than 10 minutes to get through security checkpoints. However, backups have periodically surged to as long as 39 minutes.

"So much of this really relies on communications," said Naccara, referring to airlines, officials of the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan, and the State Police. "None of us can solve the problem alone."

When security waits exceed 30 minutes, there has usually been an unusual confluence of events.

For example, when it took more than 30 minutes to get through security at Terminal D during three hours on the morning of Monday, Oct. 17, TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said it had to do with having more passengers than usual, including several flagged for extra screening, and having several screeners pulled off checkpoint duty for explosives-detection training.

To get a sense of average and maximum security waits at any airport over the past month at a specific checkpoint and time, travelers can go to TSA Web site,

But while it wants to minimize security waits, at the end of the day, Naccara said, the TSA's top priority remains keeping terrorists off airplanes. "It's shortsighted to use wait time as a gauge" of the TSA's performance, Naccara said. "We're here for security. We like to have a very positive deterrent factor with what we do."


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