BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Imagine checking into your airline and finding a massive back-up of luggage as the summer travel season goes into high gear at BWI-Marshall Airport.
Just getting that far is a challenge.
“It took us like two and a half hours to get through TSA in Atlanta, and our flight was delayed and they had to rebook us and we just now made it in. So yeah, it’s awful,” said passenger Ollissia Shaw.
And it’s not going to get better any time soon.
Airports will see more travelers than ever, according to TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein.
“TSA is expecting our largest volume of passenger and crew screenings in the history of TSA. We’re expecting 10 million more passengers and crews to be screened this summer compared to last summer,” Farbstein said.
BWI’s one day record was set a few years back at 42,000 passengers.
“But this year there’s potential to be a new number one busy day,” Farbstein said.
Given what it takes to get through TSA security, travelers are being urged to plan at least a two hour early arrival, and don’t carry anything that could slow things up even more.
Eventually, that’s going to come to driver’s license, with federal rules mandating everyone secure a REAL ID within the next 15 months.
“The airport is certainly the place most people will see it, so October 1, 2020 you’ll need to have that REAL ID to board an airplane,” said MVA administrator Christine Nizer.
But for the next few months, record volume will be the major obstacle.
And once on board a plane, don’t expect to find many empty seats. Full flights will be the norm for the summer.