Surge in travel spurs longer security lines at Denver's airport
The snaking security lines at Denver International Airport could grow even longer this summer, thanks to travel demand expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels.
Why it matters: Travel hiccups are a real pain. And after the height of COVID lockdowns and restrictions, people are ready to get a move on.
By the numbers: The average wait for security check and passport control at Denver's airport is 26.4 minutes — far from the worst among 38 other U.S. international airports analyzed by Bounce, a luggage storage company.
Yes, but: Travelers could see those wait times tick up soon.
- Car rental reservations for this upcoming Memorial Day in Denver are up 650% from last year, per an analysis from CarTrawler, a travel technology company.
- Denver is also listed as the third most-booked destination this summer, behind Las Vegas and Miami, according to travel-booking app Hopper.
What they're saying: "Based on capacity scheduled by airlines and trends we monitor related to passenger traffic recovery, we expect summer 2022 to be busier than summer 2019," DIA spokesperson Stephanie Figueroa told the Denver Post.
- "July is typically our busiest month of the year, and we expect that to be the same this year. Total passenger volumes are likely to exceed 225,000 on our busiest days, typically early July to mid-August."
Of note: Apart from an influx in passengers, the airport's terminal space is also cramped by its multi-billion dollar construction project intended to expand screening capacity.
- The Transportation Security Administration is ramping up operations to help travelers navigate the tight quarters and meet the surge in demand.
The big picture: The boom in flight bookings to Denver and other cities across the country — coupled with rising jet fuel prices and airline staffing shortages — is also driving historic spikes in airfare prices, as well-off consumers spend whatever it takes to schedule vacations and business travel, Axios' Neil Irwin reports.
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