United Warns of Even Longer Security Lines at Newark Airport

Mar 31, 2016

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If you’ve ever flown through Terminal C at Newark Airport during a peak travel period, you know how chaotic it can be. The terminal was clearly designed to handle less volume (and less time-consuming security procedures) than it sees today, though that hasn’t stopped United from adding more flights and even trying to acquire additional airport slots. If you’re an EWR pro, you probably know how to avoid the occasional overcrowding, but if you’re flying during the early morning business rush or the evening wave of flights to Europe, be prepared for a potentially unpleasant check-in and screening experience.

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It’s that TSA security screening that United wants you to pay extra attention to. In an effort to encourage travelers to show up even earlier, the airline has begun sending emails ahead of upcoming flights — just like the one above I received before a flight to Europe that departs tomorrow evening. Fortunately, I have TSA PreCheck (and you should, too!), and while those lines are also quite lengthy at Newark, they aren’t unbearable.

If you receive an email like the one above, it’s quite possible that you’re scheduled to depart during a period that United has flagged as having especially high passenger volume — if you’re concerned about missing your flight, I’d add a bit extra time than usual to pass through TSA screening. As the message states, however, “members of known traveler programs may experience normal wait times.” In other words, if you haven’t already signed up for Global Entry (which gets you free access to TSA PreCheck), now’s the time to do it!

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