TSA lines back to normal at MYR in time for Memorial Day weekend - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

TSA lines back to normal at MYR in time for Memorial Day weekend

Officials at Myrtle Beach International Airport said Memorial Day weekend would set the tone for the rest of the summer. (Source: WMBF News) Officials at Myrtle Beach International Airport said Memorial Day weekend would set the tone for the rest of the summer. (Source: WMBF News)
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Memorial Day weekend is always a big deal for the Myrtle Beach International Airport, as it sets the tone for the rest of the summer.

With the long lines at the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints lately, officials, travelers and airline employees were concerned. However, the lines, they said, were kept in check over the holiday weekend.

The weekend saw more passengers traveled through the checkpoint than at any other time so far in 2016, and it's only going to get busier.

For those keeping an eye on the checkpoints, they were thrilled that the lines weren't out of control and causing people to miss flights.

Airport officials said there were 43,000 seats on planes in and out of Myrtle Beach over the weekend. On Monday, they said that it has been a nightmare, with customers outraged when the TSA checkpoint caused them to miss flights.

The officials at MYR said passengers understanding the part they play when it comes to arriving on time helped to make things run smoothly over Memorial Day weekend.

"Historically, people would arrive at MYR not long before their departing flight,” explained Kirk Lovell, the marketing manager for the Horry County Department of Airports. “Now we're starting to see people start to actually arrive two hours before their departure. So I think it's a combination of TSA checkpoint and passengers being educated that they need to arrive two hours before their departing flight."

Airport officials said it’s also thanks in large part to the changes the TSA made in adding more staff and more security lanes.

"They have an additional lane,” Lovell said. “Several weeks ago when we were starting to experience the really long lines, they typically only had two lanes open. So the additional lane has been a huge benefit."

And that has been a huge relief for travelers bracing for the worst.

"I was expecting two hour waits everywhere,” said traveler Mitch Cohen. “I have heard it from people that last week they said it was very slow."

For weeks, travelers in Myrtle Beach and across the country have told nightmarish tales of hours-long lines and missed flights.

"We started seeing a lot of passengers' flight plans being disrupted because they weren't arriving early enough, and also because (the) TSA checkpoint was processing people slower,” Lovell said. “So it was a perfect storm that passengers at MYR were having a horrible experience."

But on Tuesday, Cohen made the trip back to his big city without a problem.

"Very easy this weekend," he said. "The TSA went very quickly. I got out of Dallas very quickly, got here to Myrtle Beach and now I'm going home, and there's no lines."

Recently at MYR, lines were snaking to the check-in counter. Airport employees brought out more ropes to create a dedicated space for that line and keep order.

Officials spread the word for every passenger to arrive with plenty of time before they take to the sky, and not to let the success of right now be deceiving.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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