Updated Jul 12, 2021 - News

Why there are longer waits at Des Moines International Airport

Chart: Axios Visuals; Data: Des Moines International Airport

Many are itching to travel this summer, but an influx of vacation-goers is resulting in slightly longer wait times at the Des Moines Airport, officials say.

Why it matters: We're used to getting through security quickly, but you might want to consider showing up a little earlier for your flight.

State of play: More inexperienced flyers are taking to the skies this summer, many of whom don't have TSA PreCheck.

  • Pre-pandemic, 50% of Des Moines Airport flyers were business travelers who knew the security screening process or had PreCheck, said airport spokesperson Kayla Kovarna.
  • But many companies are waiting to resume business travel until this fall. There's also a surge in "infrequent" flyers — particularly family and friends wanting to travel after being cooped up over the last year — that's making the security line longer, Kovarna said.
  • Only 15% of recent travelers in Des Moines had TSA PreCheck versus the typical 40% of local business travelers, according to Kovarna.

The other issue: Airlines are hurting from worker shortages, resulting in flights possibly being canceled or delayed.

Between the lines: Airport passengers can expect to wait at least 25 minutes in the TSA screening line and travelers should arrive at least 90 minutes prior to their departure time, Kovarna said.

  • It's not the 20-minute in-and-out you brag to your friends about, but it still beats O'Hare.
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