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TSA checkpoint changes are now in effect at Pittsburgh International Airport

TSA checkpoint changes go into effect at Pittsburgh International Airport
TSA checkpoint changes go into effect at Pittsburgh International Airport 02:12

FINDLAY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) – After weeks of long lines at the security checkpoint at Pittsburgh International Airport, changes aimed at cutting down on wait times have taken place and are now in effect. 

Emma Swanson and her family were heading to Savannah, Georgia, on Monday when they encountered the long lines.

"We thought that it would be maybe a little bit more than we have seen in previous years," Swanson said. "But it's been the longest I've seen in probably all my life."

Some people did all they could to prepare and still were cutting it close.

"We got here early," traveler Ryan Johnson said. "But we couldn't check our bag until 4 o'clock – Air Canada opened."

The Transportation Security Administration announced last month that they were making changes to the process in which travelers use security checkpoint lanes to help reduce wait times. 

In order to meet the demand of higher than normal traffic at the airport, starting Monday morning, the alternate security checkpoint will be used for travelers enrolled in TSA PreCheck between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays. PreCheck lanes at the main checkpoint will not be open during those hours.   

Signs will be posted inside the terminal informing travelers of the change and TSA PreCheck passengers will be redirected to the alternate checkpoint. CLEAR passengers still will have to go to the main checkpoint. 

TSA is recommending those who have booked early morning flights get to the airport at least 2 to 3 hours before their flights. 

The airport says it put out more staff Monday morning, even installing more sensors to properly measure wait times. A spokesperson for Pittsburgh International told KDKA-TV that they are continuing to work on making the experience as easy as possible for travelers.

"We want to continue to monitor things, see what we can improve, along with our TSA partners, and just try to make the journey as smooth as possible for our passengers," spokesperson Jonathan Potts said.

Allegheny County Airport Authority spokesperson Bob Kerlik says that when the new terminal opens in 2025, the security checkpoint will increase from seven to 11 lanes and be one consolidated checkpoint, but until then, the TSA is implementing a quick fix they hope will bring wait times down.

Record passenger volume

TSA said they have seen travel volume increase "tremendously" in the past several months. Kerlik says here at Pittsburgh International, it's been busy.

"So what we are seeing here at Pittsburgh International with record crowds is really a nationwide issue," said Kerlik. "And that is coupled with a lot of the new flights coming online nationwide, but also, just the appetite for ... summer travel and post COVID."

Late last month, the TSA was expecting to screen more than 30 million passengers from June 27 through today, which would be a more than 5-percent increase over 2023 Independence Day. 

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