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San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport experiencing longer lines in the morning

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Posted at 3:52 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 22:36:41-04

The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport is seeing longer wait times in the morning due to an increase in travel.

“We are seeing near pre-pandemic levels for our passengers traveling and so there are more people coming to the airport,” said Craig Piper, San Luis Obispo Department of Airports Deputy Director.

Early morning flights at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport are creating traffic jams for those trying to get through security.

“Some of those flights are much closer together in time and so there are a lot of people showing up at one time,” Piper explained.

Destinations to Denver, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Francisco all take off within an hour at the airport.

“Between 5:15 and 6:15, we have four flights. They are larger planes and so there are more people going out and it takes longer for those people to be processed through the checkpoint,” Piper said.

“The checkpoint opens every day at 4 a.m. and we have the first flight departing at 5:15 a.m. Every person on that first flight and those first flights out should be in that line at 4 o’clock,” said Lorie Dankers, California TSA Spokesperson.

Travelers are encouraged to be up to date on TSA requirements and changes that could impact time spent in line.

“The TSA has recently changed out their equipment at the checkpoint,” Piper said. “It improves the process in that passengers don’t have to take electronics and liquids out, but the machines don’t process as quickly.”

“In mid-March, TSA installed two Computed Tomography x-ray scanners,” Dankers said. “The x-ray operator sees a 3D image of the contents of the bag. What they’re able to do is see if there are any security threats, any prohibited items in there, and they get a very clear view of the bag.”

San Luis Obispo resident Brett Cooper says getting to the airport early is the only option when traveling.

“I don’t like to be stressed. I like to be here and relax and at this point everything is cool,” Cooper said. “I don’t mind sitting down, having a coffee. When the plane is ready to go, I’m here.”

San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport says having a sense of urgency assists in moving the line along at the airport and getting people to their destination.

“Get here early. I know we’re a small town but there are still those potential delays at getting through the checkpoint,” Piper said.

“Go to bed early, get up early, bring a good book, and relax,” Cooper added.

The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport recommends passengers arrive roughly 90 minutes before their flight to prepare for longer wait times.