If you’re based in Minneapolis-St. Paul — or travel there — prepare for TSA security line headaches at MSP. Or maybe alleviate them and treat yourself to PreCheck and CLEAR.
A remodeling project at the Delta Air Lines hub is forcing temporary changes to the airport’s security screening practices. This will affect travel through mid-December — including the busy Thanksgiving travel weekend.
Passengers are being segregated to two different checkpoints at completely different ends of the main terminal. Travelers without TSA PreCheck must use the terminal’s north checkpoint (near the C, D, E concourses and Escape Lounge.)
Those with TSA PreCheck should proceed to the south checkpoint (F and G concourses and F/G Delta Sky Club)
CLEAR is available at both checkpoints. But travelers still must go to the appropriate security entrance (PreCheck or non).
The change went into effect today. How’s it going so far?
Erm, not well.
Passenger Anne Hill of Minneapolis told MPR news she waited in line for 45 minutes — and “still hadn’t made it to the first TSA check of her boarding pass as she stood in the Delta Sky Priority lane at the north checkpoint.”
MPR noted, “airport spokesman John Welbes said that the morning rush was made more difficult by a surge in business traffic this morning, but said that since it was the first morning of the new configuration, travelers were also struggling to find their way at times. Some were getting in the wrong lines, others went to the wrong checkpoint.”
This is Clear TSA pre-checked line at 6:00 am on Monday morning Minneapolis airport- we have a problem and officials better get on it. Business people cannot function this way! @mspairport @Delta @Clear @kare11 @FOX9 @Jacob_Frey pic.twitter.com/WC4XGaS0iH
— Eric Caille (@EricCMedtech) August 19, 2019
Fox Sports NFL analyst Jay Glazer issued this warning:
Warning to anyone trying to fly out of Minneapolis airport… give yourself an extra two hours to get through security, regardless of CLEAR, priority or TSA precheck. Unreal. They say they are trying something new.
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) August 19, 2019
This is North JUST clear. The line goes longer inside. Pre check side is lightly better- but still way too backed up for things you pay for. It’s the new security system at MSP. The clear rep said over 1200 people missed their flights this am
— Maegan Pineapple (@maegansmiles04) August 19, 2019
For their part, MSP said:
We apologize for any disruption caused with the checkpoint reconfiguration due to construction. We are working closely with TSA and our partners to minimize wait times and confusion at both security checkpoints.
— MSP Airport (@mspairport) August 19, 2019
What Can Minneapolis Travelers Do?
This could be a wonderful reason to finally get Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and CLEAR. While the above tweets indicate PreCheck and CLEAR make things marginally better, those services could make the difference between making and missing flights.
Even if you don’t live in Minneapolis but enjoy leaving MSP for, say, a visit to Mall of America during a several hours layover or meeting someone for dinner in the nearby area, getting back into the terminal will be a nightmare.
Don’t forget the several ways to receive easy, substantial CLEAR discounts.
Plus, the no annual fee PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express gives cardholders a complimentary Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application credit every four years. Cardholders also receive $100 annually in airline incidental credit.
Two other cards (though they carry annual fees) are great options for Minneapolis travelers.
The Platinum Card® from American Express (learn more) and Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN (learn more) both come with complimentary Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application credit every four years. They’re also two of the only cards granting access to four lounges at MSP:
- Delta Sky Club on the C Concourse
- Delta Sky Club at the F/G Connector
- The Escape Lounge
- PGA MSP Lounge (via Priority Pass)
Remember that the Escape Lounge is no longer part of Priority Pass.
Have You Been Affected by the MSP TSA Security Mess?
Were caught up in the snarls today at MSP? Or do you know someone who was? Tell us in the Comments section below! — Chris
Cover image: ©iStock.com/fizkes
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