CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As people get back to flying as normal, security lines at airports aren’t quite ready for that.
The lines at Charlotte Douglas International Airport were so bad the last few days, people said they got there three hours early and still missed their flights.
“Our flight’s at nine, so normally I wouldn’t get here this early,” traveler Shannon Waynne said.
Waynne and Kevin Seanvs were in line Friday night much earlier than they would have been, but they got a text message alert to expect delays at security at Charlotte Douglas.
Nascar driver Tommy Joe Martins tweeted a video of lines wrapping through the airport. He said he has TSA pre-check and it still took an hour and 15 minutes to get through security, and he barely made his flight.
“It was just lines and lines and lines, so it was very confusing,” traveler Amy Mann said. “There were just so many people, and people didn’t know where to go.”
Mann was in the same line Friday morning on her way to Florida to celebrate at her brother’s coffee shop. She is a frequent flyer and has TSA pre-check, and didn’t have any bags, but an hour and a half was cutting it close.
“I thought that would be enough time for me to get in and out and it really wasn’t,” Mann said. “It was really frustrating. I feel so bad for the poor TSA people that were working. They were doing their best.”
People are getting back to flying like they did before the pandemic, but TSA is struggling with a shortage of staff right now.
According to The Wall Street Journal, as of last week, the agency still needed to hire 4,000 workers by summer to deal with the surge in passengers.
For now, travelers will have to plan to arrive even earlier than early.
“I’m so glad we are able to fly but this just kind of sucks. We weren’t prepared for it,” one traveler said.
(Watch Below: Record-setting number of travelers took to skies for Memorial Day holiday)
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