O’Hare Airport to Travelers: Arrive 3 Hours Before Your Flight

Photo (cc) by Michael_Lehet

If you think getting to the airport two hours before your scheduled flight time is bad, I hope you don’t plan to fly out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Airport officials there are now urging flyers to arrive at the airport at least three hours early to give passengers more time to get through security.

That’s a full hour more than the Transportation Security Administration recommends for domestic flights. But with nearly 5,000 fewer TSA airport security screeners on the job than three years ago, long airport security lines are the rule rather than the exception.

And with the busy summer travel season on the horizon, the already dire airport security situation could get much, much worse.

Two U.S. senators are urging airlines to drop their checked-bag fees this summer to help speed up airport security checks, but it seems unlikely that airlines will bite since they typically blame the staggeringly long security lines on the TSA.

The TSA recently got congressional approval to use $34 million to hire roughly 800 new security officers and pay for more part-time workers and overtime for existing airport security screeners.

“But the union that represents security officers said that won’t solve the problem, and that TSA needs 6,000 additional full-time officers to address a shortfall that has come as airlines are experiencing an increase in passengers,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

On Sunday, nearly 450 American Airlines customers missed their flights at O’Hare due to security wait times of more than two hours, according to the Tribune. Some of those passengers were forced to spend the night in the airport after they missed the last flight of the day.

Since February, roughly 4,500 American Airlines passengers have missed their flights at O’Hare due to long security lines, according to CNN Money.

“The extreme delays at security screening in Chicago airports reflects poor planning and inadequate federal funding,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told the Tribune.

But until the airport security gridlock improves, you may want to follow O’Hare’s recommendation of getting to the airport three hours before your scheduled flight time. Bring a good book.

What’s your latest experience with airport security? What do you think needs to be done to improve the situation? Share in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Items Every First-Aid Kit Should Have
10 Items Every First-Aid Kit Should Have

Take control of your health and safety by customizing your own first-aid kit with these Amazon purchases.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

This Is the Best Time of Day to Take Blood Pressure Meds
This Is the Best Time of Day to Take Blood Pressure Meds

The right timing can help you prevent a big — and possibly fatal — mistake.

7 Reasons Workers Age 65 and Older Have Not Retired Yet
7 Reasons Workers Age 65 and Older Have Not Retired Yet

For some, the golden years are a time to increase the gold — but their reasons for delaying retirement vary widely.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

Will Stimulus Checks Increase Your Social Security Taxes?
Will Stimulus Checks Increase Your Social Security Taxes?

Could all those “free” checks prove costly down the road?

11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic
11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic

Many goods we take for granted have become tough to find in 2021.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.