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The 11 Worst US Airports for TSA Wait Times - June Edition
We analyzed data from the TSA to give you the worst airports for wait times
Qsensor analyzed TSA wait times across May at 26 of the US’s biggest airports to provide you with a list of the 11 worst airports for TSA queues
Worst airport for wait times is Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
US air travel passenger volumes are expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2023
TSA wait times up 8.5% since March
Throughout May, Qsensor collected thousands of TSA wait times from all of the biggest US airports. We looked at the hourly averages, which we then compiled into a daily averages for each airport.
Air travel is expected to bounce back to surpass pre-pandemic levels in the US by the end of 2023. Airlines and airports, still wounded by the pandemic, are struggling to keep up with demand. This impacts the airport experience, including TSA wait times. This is especially apparent during the busy summer travel season, where wait times are already up 8.5% in May compared to March.
Here are the top 11 worst airports for TSA wait times. Please note that your individual experience may vary. All wait time data is from qsensor.co and the TSA.
Average wait time: 9 minutes and 34 seconds
Highest peak wait time: 5 AM - 18 minutes and 57 seconds
Opened in 1971, TPA serves the Tampa Bay Area. With 21.5 million passengers in 2021, it is the 4th largest airport in the state of Florida.
Average wait time: 9 minutes and 56 seconds
Highest peak wait time: 11 AM - 17 minutes 17 seconds
SFO , The gateway to Silicon Valley, opened in 1927. The airport reached a pre-pandemic peak of 54 million passengers in 2019. Unlike many airports where wait times peak in the early to mid-morning, SFO experiences it’s peak wait time late morning.
Average wait time: 10 minutes and 22 seconds
Highest peak wait time: 4 AM - 13 minutes and 34 seconds
LAX opened in 1928 to tap into the growing aviation industry and support the growth of Los Angeles. It is the largest airport in California, having accommodated 88 million passengers in 2019 before the pandemic.
Average wait time: 10 minutes and 29 seconds
Highest peak wait time: 4 AM - 19 minutes and 17 seconds
Philadelphia International Airport first opened in 1925 as a military airfield. Since then, it has developed into the largest airport in the state of Pennsylvania. It serves as the primary hub for Philadelphia and handled 33 million passengers in 2019.
Average wait time: 11 minutes and 32 seconds
Highest peak wait time: 10 AM - 18 minutes and 8 seconds
Many Seattle residents on Reddit have complained of queues reaching 3 hours over the past few months. The airport has provided various methods to expedite your queuing experience. If you travel frequently, we recommend applying for TSA PreCheck. If you don’t travel frequently, then the SEA Spot Saver should be sufficient.
Please note: The data for this analysis was taken from May, wait times for Seattle in June are considerably higher.
Seattle, the home of Boeing - one of the two largest aircraft manufacturers. Below, a picture of the queen of the skies, the Boeing 747.
Average wait time: 12 minutes and 11 seconds
Highest peak wait time: 5 AM - 20 minutes and 52 seconds
Established in 1911, just 8 years after the Wright Brothers' first flight in 1903, Salt Lake City International Airport is one of the oldest airports in the United States. The airport experienced its peak passenger volume of 27 million in 2019.
Average wait time: 12 minutes and 50 seconds
Highest peak wait time: 5 PM - 18 minutes and 52 seconds
JFK, perhaps the most famous airport in the US, is the largest airport in the state of New York. It serves as the primary transatlantic hub, connecting the US with Europe. We have observed that the wait times for TSA PreCheck at JFK are often as long as those in the General line. This is likely why the airport has recently started construction on a new terminal called "New Terminal One." The new terminal will help future-proof JFK against rising demand and improve the overall airport experience.
Average wait time: 14 minutes and 23 seconds
Highest peak wait time: 7 AM & 12 PM - 23 minutes and 23 seconds
In March and April, SAN held the 3rd position in terms of wait times. Fortunately for San Diegans, it has now slipped out of the top 3 in May.
Average wait time: 14 minutes and 31 seconds
Highest peak wait time: 6 AM - 24 minutes and 43 seconds
24 minutes and 43 seconds is the highest peak time of any US airport we analyzed.
FLL is the third-largest airport in Florida, ranking behind Orlando and Miami. It is one of the two main airports serving the Miami Metropolitan Area. Recently, the airport experienced severe flooding during a storm.
Average wait time: 14 minutes and 32 seconds
Highest peak wait time: 5 & 9 AM - 22 minutes
In second place is "Sin City," Las Vegas. LAS was one of the few airports that recorded higher passenger numbers in 2022 (52.6 million) compared to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 (51.5 million).
Average wait time: 15 minutes 23 seconds.
Highest peak wait time: 12 PM - 24 minutes and 34 seconds
The winner for June’s airport with the highest wait time in the US is Chicago O'Hare. It has risen from 4th place in May. ORD is one of the largest airports in the US, having served 85 million passengers in 2019.
We will return with another edition next month. If you are interested in accessing live and historical TSA, CATSA, and worldwide airport security wait times, you can find us at https://qsensor.co/.