MYRLTE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Regulation changes at the Transportation Security Administration and a cut in staffing have lead to longer wait times at airports nationwide, including Myrtle Beach International Airport.
Many travelers believe MYR is easy to fly in and out of, but between those TSA regulation changes, less employees manning security checkpoints and more passengers, the lines are longer.
For officials at MYR, the message is simple; get there earlier.
MYR's Director of Air Service and Business Development, Kirk Lovell says just because it may be a breeze to get to the airport, or get through the ticketing area, doesn't mean people should assume they will get through to the gates with ease.
"TSA does have their rules they have to abide by and they have to spend so much time per passenger per passenger screening, and when you spend more time it causes a longer line," said Kirk Lovell, MYR's director of air service and business development. "And when we start to have longer lines, and you're not here two hours before you will miss your flight."
On Friday, Eddie Stains arrived at the airport three hours before his flight because of what happened to his sister days before.
"She would have missed her flight because of the security checkpoint had her flight not been delayed," Stains said. "Luckily, her flight being delayed was a good thing and she was able to make it."
Officials at MYR said changes are coming to the airport's security lines. Passengers can expect to see more rows while waiting to go through security.
Several were added Thursday after the security line went all the way to baggage claim. Lovell said passengers will soon see, "Disney-style lines" and cueing systems to help prevent a straight line that leads all the way to the airport's restaurant near baggage claim.
Passengers like Stains noticed the line looked longer than usual right away on Friday and he didn't want to take a chance. He did not miss his flight, but it did take him nearly 45 minutes to get through security.
Lovell said it's not just MYR, and everyone should know that no matter what airport they are flying in or out of, they should be there two hours before for national flights and three hours before international flights.