These U.S. Airports Have the Longest Wait Times, According to One Study

published Apr 21, 2022
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One of the most annoying things about travel is waiting at airports, and according to one study, it gets more annoying if you happen to land at certain airports.

A study by luggage storage company Bounce has determined the American airports with the shortest and longest wait times using data provided by the TSA and U.S. Customs & Border Protection. The top airport you should avoid if you loathe waiting in line? Miami.

The data found that, at Miami International Airport, the total average wait time for security checks and passport control is 46 minutes and 57 seconds. In second place is another airport serving the Miami area, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, with 46 minutes and 21 seconds. 

Why the annoyingly long wait times? The company explained, “Miami is the largest gateway from the U.S. to Latin America and the Caribbean and one of the nation’s major airline hubs.” Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, though it handles fewer international flights than Miami, still serves over 700 flights daily.

Not to be outdone, San Francisco International Airport makes travelers wait 45 minutes and 56 seconds, as it is “California’s second busiest airport and one of the busiest in the country.”

The Top 5 US Airports With The Longest TSA Times

  1. Miami International Airport, 46:57
  2. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, 46:41
  3. San Francisco International Airport, 45:56
  4. John F. Kennedy International Airport, 44:54
  5. O’Hare International Airport, 39:26

Standing in line for nearly an hour becomes even more irksome when you learn how quicker other airports are. America’s most-expedited airport experience is Raleigh-Durham International, with a total average wait time of 16 minutes and 9 seconds — a half hour shorter to Miami’s.

Baltimore/Washington International Airport comes in second, with 19 minutes and 14 seconds, while Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s wait time is only 19 minutes and 15 seconds, despite 50 million passengers passing through it every year.

The Top 5 US Airports With The Shortest TSA Times

  1. Raleigh-Durham International, 16:09
  2. Baltimore/Washington International Airport, 19:14
  3. Charlotte Douglas International Airport, 19:15
  4. Newark Liberty International Airport, 19:46
  5. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, 19:50

The study also sorts the data into the airports with the longest/shortest security wait times and longest/shortest passport control wait times, all of which you can see here.