Avoiding the Crowds

With Labor Day creeping (or should I say in a full sprint?) upon us, lots of people are sneaking in their last
summer trips of the year, often visiting families, but also taking adventures to places where, presumably, the weather
is luscious and crowds are few. But to get to these places, you are likely going to have to pass through the
airport…and that can be nasty. Airport lines this year — due to heightened security and an increase in travel — have
been miserable, as record-breaking crowds descend on airports around the country. But here’s a secret to avoid becoming
another bovine in the herd: travel off peak.

I can say with some confidence that this is a fine solution. I flew back to JFK yesterday on Jet Blue from San
Francisco and had a remarkably easy time getting through the airport. I was stunned, and very pleased, to be whisked
through security and happily seated in the terminal with an hour to spare (an hour I suppose I would have rather used
sleeping, but at least I wasn’t standing in line with a hundred angry, suitcase-toting travelers).

Whatever your schedule, one place to check the current waiting lines is
this site by the Transportation Safety Administration. It gives
historical (rather than immediate) waiting times based on airport and day/time of travel. It does not account for
specific problems at specific airports, but it does lend credencde to the suggestion that off-peak is the way to go. So
if you’ve got a Labor Day weekend adventure planned, consider adding a day or two to the front and/or back of your trip
and enjoy a little more shut eye rather than enduring those awful lines.