AUSTIN (KXAN) — The scene at Austin-Bergstrom International airport on the first day of Memorial Day weekend could have been described as controlled chaos, with long lines at security checkpoints stretching outside of the terminal.
The most shocking scene for many travelers Friday morning was how long the line was for TSA Pre-Check. Many travelers who have the green pre-check mark on their boarding pass, like Kirsten Chapton and her family, are accustomed to getting through security in a fast pace.
But the pre-check line was wrapping around outside the terminal.
“Never seen it like this,” Chapton said as she and her family waited to catch their flight for a wedding.
It is days like this, the kickoff for summer travel, that are the reason behind why AUS is recommending travelers show up at least 2.5 hours early for domestic flights, and three hours early for international flights.
Expect a record-breaking summer
In May of 2022, AUS saw 2,021,747 travelers, a record-breaking month for the airport. The airport expects to break that record this year because airlines are now offering more destinations and are selling between 4-7% more seats per flight throughout the summer months.
The long lines at Austin airport did move at a regular pace on Friday, but the sheer number of people had the lines backed up and people worried. Multiple travelers who were standing in line kept expressing how shocked they were that the line was so long.
There were no signs that any of the security checkpoints were down. Every checkpoint in the airport was highly trafficked.