Skip to Content

These U.S. Airports Have The Longest Wait Times At Security

Share The Article

Last Updated

Do you know how long you are going to wait at the airport? You will now! A new report shared by Bounce, a luggage storage app, shows which airports give the longest and shortest wait times at security. 

airplane flying next to airport control tower at sunset

For travelers, the wait time at airports can affect their travel experience, and having data about selected airports can help them make better decisions when visiting certain cities.

The study analyzed data from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Customs & Border Protection Airport to determine the average waiting time at the main airports in the United States. 

airport security

Some of these airports with long wait lines are even among the top 10 airports in the world, but focusing only on security time might show different results. 

The luggage company explained that they considered data from March 2021 to March 2021. Time estimates vary depending on many factors, but here’s what the statistics have shown.

family walking towards airport departures

US Airports With Longest Wait Times

These lists combine passport control and security wait times. It’s important that travelers also consider that luggage and other exceptional circumstances can increase these time estimates. 

The longest wait time: Miami International Airport

According to the analysis, travelers will have to wait an average of 46 minutes and 57 seconds to go through security and passport revision. The longest wait process is security where passengers usually wait almost 25 minutes and also about 22 minutes at passport control. 

Miami International Airport handles many international flights and is the main flight connection for those visiting the United States from Latin America and the Caribbean. Bounce suggested that this is probably why security controls take longer than in other airports. 

The second-longest wait time: Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport

Another airport in Florida takes the unfortunate long wait award. At these airports, travelers wait 46 minutes and 41 seconds. The time to go through security takes on average 18 minutes and 18 seconds, and the passport control wait time is 28 minutes and 23 seconds. 

This airport controls fewer international flights, compared to the Miami International Airport, but remains very busy. According to the data shared, this airport handles over 700 daily flights. 

Third longest wait time: San Francisco International Airport

The next airport with the longest wait time is across the country. Passengers usually wait 45 minutes and 56 seconds to have their passports checked and pass TSA control. Security wait is nearly 28 minutes and passport control wait is 18 minutes.

It is expected that one of the busiest airports in the United States ranks on this list. After Los Angeles International Airport, this airport is the busiest in California, and also serves as a getaway to Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

US Airports With The Shortest Wait Times

It’s important to highlight also those airports that make travel smoother and that might be considered by travelers in a rush. This is what Bounce’s report shows: 

The shortest wait time: Raleigh–Durham International Airport

Passengers could transit to this airport for as short as 16 minutes and 9 seconds in total. On average, it takes travelers only 10 minutes to wait at the TSA checkpoint and about 6 minutes to go through passport control. 

The second shortest wait time: Baltimore/Washington International Airport

At this airport, passengers wait less than 20 minutes, exactly 19 minutes and 14 seconds. According to the information shared, it could be a good option to consider this airport instead of the Washington Dulles International Airport since travelers might save up to 13 minutes in security wait.

The third shortest wait time: Charlotte Douglas International Airport

At this airport in North Carolina travelers wait less than 20 minutes. It takes on average 9 minutes and 54 seconds on security wait time and 9 minutes and 20 seconds on passport control. A surprising result, considering that this airport is transited by 50 million passengers every year.

Read More:

U.S. Airports Are Getting New High Tech Scanners That Will Speed Up Security Lines

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 For 2021

5 Of The World’s Best Airports Are In The USA

↓ Elevate Your Travel↓

Sign Up Now For Travel Off Path Premium! No ads, VIP Content, Personal Travel Concierge, Huge Savings, Daily Deals, Members Forum & More!


Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Top tips to minimize wait at security checks:

1) Red-eye flights (11PM or later) - cheaper too, and save a night of hotel

2) PreChek (Included with Global Entry)

SFO at 11PM. 5 minutes. Single line at this hour (if you have PreChek, they give you a blue card for expedited screening)

Michael Zullo

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

I wasn't able to locate on either list - (the longest wait & shortest wait)the ranking for JFK, EWR and LGA without question three airports serving a huge NYC Metropolitan area. It would be of interest to me because I live in Manhattanand travel often overseas.


Thursday 7th of April 2022

@Michael Zullo, You weren't able to locate the NYC airports because they weren't in the top 3 in either list.