SFO Says Passengers Should Prepare for Hours-Long Waits at Security Amid Surge in Travel

June 15, 2022

Jun. 15—Travelers showing up at San Francisco International Airport have been finding longer, slower-moving security lines than they've anticipated over the last several days, leaving some to fret over whether they'll make their flights.

Airport officials notified airlines to advise their passengers they may have to wait "longer than usual" to get through the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at SFO due to "very high levels of passenger activity," according to an email sent out Tuesday by American Airlines.

With COVID travel restrictions eased, school out for the summer and people eager to travel, the Bay Area's busiest airport is seeing a surge in air travelers to about 75% of pre-pandemic levels, SFO spokesman Doug Yakel told The Chronicle.

The airport is urging passengers to be prepared for the busier airport experience by arriving at the airport at least two hours before departure for domestic flights and at least three hours before departure for international flights.

"This is consistent with the guidance we gave for summer travel in 2019," he said.

The length of the lines and the wait varies widely depending on the number of flights, the gates from which they're departing and when passengers show up at security checkpoints, he said. The contractor that operates security checkpoints at SFO in cooperation with the TSA is adding staffing as the number of air travelers increases.

Michael Cabanatuan (he/him) is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @ctuan


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