The Hordes of Summer

TSA checkpoints have taken me much longer to get through over the past month or so. It’s possible I’m just unlucky, but this is how they’ve looked for me most of the time, a photo of clearing security today mid-afternoon.

Nearly every seat was taken in the Admirals Club, I found one a little bit too close to a fellow travel but turned it so we weren’t angled towards each other at least. I wasn’t in shouting distance of a power cord. Fortunately my flight has seat power (thanks American Airlines, and of course GoGo..).

Boarding for my flight had not yet begun. No passengers were called. First class wasn’t yet asked to queue, nor Executive Platinum members.

The only thing other thing you can rely on with summer travel besides these crowds is evening thunder storms in the Northeast, which is why I do my darndest to get in the air a bit earlier and by all means possible to avoid that last flight of the day. Not always possible, but onboard internet at least makes it a little easier to accomplish.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Must be a Summer sale on confetti. I’ve been seeing more and more of it at every gate. Then the angry looks when you have boarding class 1 (on UA) anyway and have to plow through.

  2. A TSA agent at BWI (where I have seen about one line in my life) told me it was as bad as he’d ever seen it.

  3. Your TSA experience mirrors my most recent at DCA as well as a colleague who flies out of there frequently.

    Walk to the left of the DCA Admirals Club bar, and proceed along the windows looking down on the TSA line. There’s some seating back there that not everyone knows about. Sometimes it’s packed too, but not always.

  4. At least the GA didn’t board the plane early. Had a flight last night on AA got to the gate 5 minutes prior to the printed boarding time and as an EXP was boarding after group 3 because the GA had started boarding early!!! This had me walk to the back of the plane to stow my carry on with people behind me and the opposite when we landed. Not very happy after a long day of working and not getting the upgrade.

  5. Load factors on the majors is up to 84% now, and on the lower cost airlines, up in the 86-87% range. Crazy

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