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Summer Travelers Worry About Longer Airport Wait Times

Long wait times? Delayed flights? What concerns you most about traveling this summer? With U.S. travel expected to increase 7% over last summer, according to a survey by the travel site Orbitz, the travel industry is in a frenzy over potential delays the increase may cause.

In fact, one CNN.com article warns travelers to “expect epic lines at the airport this summer” thanks to more travelers, lack of TSA agents, and more extensive security procedures.

According to our recent Summer Travel Survey, nearly half (40 percent) of business travelers are most concerned about longer airport security lines and increased wait times. Twenty percent say airline delays will cause them the most stress this summer followed by 15 percent who are concerned about fewer TSA workers to deal with the season’s surge in travelers.

Travelers Vow to Continue Traveling This Summer

Despite their travel concerns, the majority (80 percent) indicate they will travel as usual this summer, while 15 percent say they will continue to travel but will avoid airports with long security waits. According to survey participants, the top five airports deemed worst for long security lines are: (1) New York’s JFK (52 percent), (2) Chicago’s O’Hare (49 percent), (3) New York LaGuardia (43 percent), (4) Newark (32 percent) and (5) Los Angeles (31 percent).

Travelers Plan Ahead and Leave Driving to the Airport to Professionals

With longer wait times to get through security being blamed for missed flights across the country, the TSA is recommending fliers arrive up to two hours ahead of their departure time, even for domestic flights.

To get to the airport in time an overwhelming 78 percent of those surveyed said they will plan ahead and book a car service to the airport with plenty of time prior to their departure, and 77 percent prefer to be driven by a professional driver as opposed to renting a car/driving themselves or using a van/shuttle service, a shared/car-pooling service, or taking public transit.

Travelers Believe TSA PreCheck Program Will Save Time

To assist travelers, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson encourages more travelers to sign up for TSA PreCheck, the program that enables pre-screened fliers to use a speedier checkpoint without removing their shoes or taking out their laptops.

More than half (57 percent) of those surveyed participate in either TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry and 63 percent believe these programs will be a huge benefit this summer given the rise in the number of travelers and TSA issues. Of those who are not currently enrolled in these programs, 20 percent said they would sign up this summer and 36 percent said they would not apply, while 43 percent said they remain undecided.

Click here to read the full release for GroundLink’s Summer Travel Survey findings.

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