AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-Bergstrom International Airport said you need to arrive even earlier to make sure you make your flight.
The airport recommended Tuesday travelers with carry-on bags arrive two-and-a-half hours before boarding for domestic flights.
Previous guidance advised flyers arrive two hours ahead of time, a recommendation put in place during a busy month of March.
Austin-Bergstrom still recommends international travelers show up three hours before their scheduled boarding times.
Tuesday’s announcement came after early morning travelers once again took to social media to share photos and videos of lines spilling out the doors.
The airport tweeted Tuesday was the busiest Tuesday for air travel in the U.S. so far this year with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening 2,036,479 passengers nationwide.
Austin-Bergstrom has been grappling with increased traffic, particularly in the morning — a problem that will likely get worse as the airport prepares for what is expected to be a record-breaking summer.
Spokesperson Bailey Grimmett told KXAN the airport expects to offer 30% more seat capacity this year compared to last due to an increase in non-stop destinations (now 90) and larger aircraft passing through.
“We know that this year in general, the projected number is 22 million passengers flying out of the airport, which surpasses our record-breaking number in 2019 which I believe was 17 million,” Grimmett said. “So, we do anticipate a very busy year, as well as a very busy summer.”
Also, don’t rely on the airport’s wait time website anymore. Grimmett said it doesn’t work anymore because the “technology is no longer supported by the vendor.”
Last month, the airport confirmed 15 additional TSA officers would join 35 supplemental officers already deployed to the airport to help ease the security lines.
The 50 extra officers fall short of the 100 requested by airport CEO Jaqueline Yaft in a March 3 letter to the TSA.
The airport said though security and ticket counter wait times have improved over the last month, staffing shortages can still cause delays when workers call in sick.
On Wednesday, the office of U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D) told KXAN the congressman sent another letter to the TSA asking officials to assist with what he calls an “unacceptable” situation.
Here are eight tips to make sure you get where you are trying to go from Austin-Bergstrom International.
Travel tips from AUS
- Use upper or lower levels for passenger drop-off.
- Use a mobile boarding pass or self-service kiosk.
- Arrive three hours early for international flights.
- Check your carry-on for prohibited items.
- Travelers can save time by checking in for their flight using their airlines’ mobile app
- Select airlines offer outside curbside check-in.
- Checkpoints open at 3:30 a.m. with TSA PreCheck and Clear screening available at Checkpoints 1 and 2 West.
- Travelers checking luggage, traveling with small children or in a large group and those flying out of AUS for the first time in a while should give themselves extra time in addition to the two- and three-hour recommendation to make it to their gate on time.