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Mon Mar 20, 2017, 08:50 AM

TSA lines at airports: If you are flying out of a major airport, give yourself extra time!

The TSA changes are here.


My husband and I flew out of our home airport--Raleigh/Durham--to Newark last Friday for a weekend in NY. No problem with our home
airport--and they had a TSA pre-check line operating before 8 am.

Flying home from Newark was another story. It took us almost an hour to get through security to get to our gate area in Terminal A.
They had ONE station open and staffed (with equipment for several other lanes sitting closed, idle, and unstaffed). They handed out pre-check
laminated cards --at a pre-check line on entry--which were worthless since there was only one line and no separation of pre-check passengers.

They also are giving full groin inspection to males and full boob handling to females. Both my husband and I have hip replacements. I often
get through our Raleigh/Durham security without triggering the alarm, but my husband never does. They had a full body scanner at Newark and they STILL
made us both go through the invasive pat-down. Count extra time for that and probably more of them being done.

My husband and I travel a fair amount and have been in our share of lines. But I have to say I haven't been in an almost hour long line just to get through security since about 2003 when it took me and my sons over an hour to get through a giant security line in Denver in June. That was a close call; when we got to the gate for my sons flight (they were flying home to Raleigh/Durham and I was going elsewhere to meet my husband) they were calling boarding. It would have been a major PITA if they had missed their flight when the plan was for us to go separate ways.

And if you don't fly frequently, be aware that airlines are closing their gates routinely anywhere from 10-15 minutes prior to stated flight time so they can log on-time departures. We watched two women miss their flight when the plane was still at the gate and there was still 10 minutes to flight time. The gate agent closed the door, went down and pulled the jetway away from the plane. One of the women was literally banging on the gate door. SOL. Just SOL.

We have two more flying trips booked and then I'm done. If I can't get there on the train or by car, I'm not going. It is just too much of a PITA to fly any more. Security lines. Canceled flights. Delayed flights for equipment problems (we had a gate change because another flight was more than two hours delayed while they fussed with an electrical issue and then finally gave the flight new equipment). Squashed in coach seats. Not enough overhead space. Absolutely full planes. Rude airline personnel. Rude passengers. I'm fortunate that at age 66 there really aren't any places that I'd like to go (other than Tahiti) that I'm willing to endure the ordeal of flying in order to get there.

Just be prepared.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:00 AM

1. That's Standard Operating Procedure at Newark

If we have an international flight - we give ourselves 4 hours - as opposed to 3.

Domestic - 2.5 hours - and the main flight we used to take was always an hour to two hours late - so 4.5 to 6 hours to get to our destination.


In terms of Domestic - even though United sometimes offers cut throat rates sometimes from Newark to Rochester NY -

I can make it to my mom's house south of Rochester from NJ in 4 hours and 5 minutes. Never flying to Rochester again. Only thing that has slowed me down is construction on the old 86/17.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:02 AM

3. My husband flew in/out of Newark in February and he didn't have this experience at all.

Also flying United.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:02 AM

2. Thanks for posting!...Several trips coming up over next couple of months..

thought I'd be good with Pre-Check...guess not..

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Response to HipChick (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:07 AM

8. They've upped sucurity in all categories - all lines

So pre-check is better, than no pre-check but not as good as it was.

There is construction going on in Terminal C which is dramatically slowing things down and Terminal A is always a mess.

I fly quite a bit for business and I hope that once the new procedures are better understood that the system will speed up again.



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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:03 AM

4. Newark is an especial mess right now. It's my home airport and fairly unavoidable.

Good news - if you fly to Tahiti, you must go either Air France or Air Tahiti (although you may take a domestic to LAX to make your connection to Tahiti), but if you fly either of the airlines that can land in Tahiti, you will get good on board service.

So there's that.

But yes - extra time is needed.

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Response to Kber (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:07 AM

7. I have toyed with planning to stop in Hawaii. Have an old college friend who lives in Honolulu

(and besides, who wouldn't like a couple of days on Maui or Kauai?)--but I think
I'd almost rather plan to take a ship. I think it's just not going to happen, though.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:04 AM

5. Flying sucks. No question.

And just for the record, i've has root canals that were more pleasant than Newark.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:14 AM

10. LOL!

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:04 AM

6. Newark is one of the worst airports for TSA

I only fly in and out of there because I can get there by NJ Transit train and don't have to worry about finding a ride or parking. However, having flown in/out of 5 airports this fall, I can say Newark was the worst of the 5 (as well as the terminal itself-- not much option for food compared to other airports).

LAX was easier than Newark.

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Response to crazycatlady (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:13 AM

9. We usually fly to LaGuardia when we go to NY, but I specifically chose Newark because of the train

to Penn Station.

It was St. Patrick's Day and I wasn't optimistic about getting through mid-town in a taxi to our hotel because of the parade.
I have never seen the train to Penn Station so full! Many already drunk college students. And, true to my expectation,
no taxis once there. So we took the subway up to our hotel near Carnegie Hall. Had to walk to our lunch reservation.
Fortunately it was only 8 blocks. I'm struggling with a bad knee (think I'm going to have to do a replacement this summer)
so I try to minimize my walking these days.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:19 AM

11. I'm in central NJ

If not for the train to Newark, I'd be driving to Philly. The Newark train is $5 more than the one to Penn Station (a few stops north) but it is the airport fees and well worth it to avoid parking (I'm very skeptical of letting anyone else drive my car. This includes valets)

My parents, in NY, fly in and out of White Plains when possible. JFK and LGA are a PITA.

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Response to crazycatlady (Reply #11)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:29 AM

12. LGA deserves it's "third world airport" comment from VP Biden.

What a mess. Gates with C designations in the B Terminal. Last time we were there--in January--
the display boards for the flights weren't working. Encountered a couple of women who missed
their 1 PM flight--they'd been there since 11 AM--because they didn't hear the announcement of a gate
change between terminals--and were taking the shuttle. We were on the shuttle because my phone
message from American didn't specify that our C designated gate was in B Terminal and I told
the driver C Terminal. Thank goodness we had planned extra time and it didn't take us an hour
to get through security.

My youngest son has been at Yale for grad school for 3 years and he has to fly through Philly to get to
New Haven when it isn't so expensive that he ends up going to either LaGuardia or Newark in order to save $. From Newark
he can take Amtrak to New Haven; from LGA or JFK he has to get in to the city first in order to take
the train from Grand Central to New Haven. He hates the travel. Takes him forever.

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