A new study that ranks TSA security wait times across the nation from longest to shortest and, for those who love to stand in security lines, Newark (EWR) will happily oblige with the longest wait times.
Drawing directly on data compiled from the TSA, the study by Upgraded Points looked at the U.S.’s 25 busiest airports by total passenger boardings in 2018 and explored wait times during specific times and days of the week. The results were then compiled, analyzed and placed in an interactive digital map. Both the shortest and longest wait times were found to be non-localized, and are spread out over multiple major airports across the country.
The study looked at the 25 busiest airports in the U.S., based on 2018 passenger boarding information. The results are compiled from data representing security wait times for specific hours at all airports, from which the day and overall averages were calculated.
To rate the best and worst times for TSA security at each airport, Upgraded Points searched through every day of the week to find the maximum and minimum average wait times. The overall study considered all hours traveled, but only offered times within a single time period — from 4 pm through 11 pm — in its recommendations for best times to travel. This window was deemed the most realistic time period to suit the largest number of travelers, and also represents the time period used for the majority of flight departures.
Airport Security Wait Times: Longest and Shortest
• Longest — Newark Liberty International (EWR): Located in New Jersey, EWR ranked number one on the list of longest security wait times. With an average security delay of 23.1 minutes, EWR is definitely an airport that requires a bit of patience. With some strategic planning however, it is possible to travel through EWR with a reduced risk of inconvenience. The best time to travel EWR is on a Friday, between 10 pm and 11 pm, with an average wait time of around 15 minutes. The absolute worst time to travel through EWR is on a Monday, between 12 pm and 1 pm. Those unfortunate enough to hit the security line at that time could be waiting up to an hour.
• Shortest — Salt Lake City International (SLC): Utah’s capital can boast the quickest security-line wait times in the nation, with an average of 9.1 minutes. For those interested in visiting some of the nation’s state parks, booking a trip through SLC should be relatively quick and convenient. And although it already offers incredibly short wait times on average, the best time to join the security line at SLC is on a Wednesday, between 6 pm and 7 pm, with an average wait time of two minutes. The worst time is on a Sunday, from 11 pm to 12 am, with an average wait time at around 26 minutes.
Other noted airports that made the best and worst lists for this study include Boston Logan, Washington Dulles International, Miami International and George Bush Intercontinental. For a complete list of the airlines reported in the study, as well as detailed graphics and access to the interactive map, visit here.