Standing in long lines that seem to coil into infinity when at the airport is enough to frustrate even the most patient of people. Per a new report, the queues at SFO are among the longest of any domestic airport, which might also make it one of the more maddening airports in America.
The San Francisco International Airport is experiencing a boom in new destination routes and number of passengers passing through it on a monthly basis. Alaska Airlines recently announced it’s planning a big relocation to SFO (that'll see additional domestic and international routes added to the SF airport) and, in February, 2,259,264 passengers were reported coming in and out of SFO — a 207% increase from the year prior.
But this resurgence of foot traffic at SFO means "line times" are climbing back up to pre-pandemic levels. And then some, apparently, as a new report from Bounce.com has found.
Comparing and contrasting the airport wait times — which included times spent getting through security, passport control, and the average of the two for "combined wait times" — the travel company concluded that SFO has the third-longest line times of any airport in the country and the longest in California. The only two airports to edge out SFO were Florida’s Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Bounce.com found that getting through TSA alone will require people to twiddle their thumbs and doomscrool on Twitter for about 28 minutes on average. SFO's time to get through security is actually the longest on average of any airport in the country, according to the report. Though the usual passport control time is much shorter at just a little over 18 minutes, international passengers should expect to spend about 46 minutes getting through various checkpoints.
Mind you: These combined times don't include luggage checks, either.
"Note that these times just refer to how long it takes to clear security checks and passport control," reads text from Bounce.com. The travel company analyzed data from the TSA, as well as U.S. Customs & Border Protection, in order to find out the airports with the longest and shortest wait times. "Bear in mind that that could take longer to collect your luggage or make your way through the terminal!"
The study also found that SFO was the slowest airport on the West Coast. It, too, is evidently California’s second-most trafficked airport and still one of the busiest in the country; SFO remains a domestic touchston in regards to serving as a jumping point to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
With our second attempt at a quasi-normal summer around the corner, perhaps yourself a little extra time to get through SFO's security checkpoints before boarding your masked flight.
Photo: Getty Images/ScottWes71