MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Anxious and stressful are just a couple ways some describe the sight of airport security checkpoints.
“It’s, in many ways, ridiculous,” said Lori Lutz, a frequent traveler at the Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport.
So, when Lutz discovered a little known security checkpoint at the MSP Lindbergh terminal, she felt like she hit the airport lottery.
“It’s faster, a hidden gem,” she said.
Checkpoint 10 is the ticket for airline employees and frequent travelers. It’s on the skyway between concourses G and C, according to airport spokesperson, Melissa Scrovonski.
“I have been actually been told by some business people not to tell anything about this because they really, really love it and know it is a fast way to get through. Some people say, don’t let the secret out,” said Scrovonski. “So, that means there are shorter lines here. It does close at 10 o’clock at night, so you have to be aware of that.”
She also warns that you can’t check luggage at this gate. It’s carry-on only. She advises those who want to try Checkpoint 10 to park in the red or blue ramp, or take the tram over.
Also, Scrovonski emphasizes it makes the most sense to use Checkpoint 10 if you are on the A or B concourse, or have flights between C12 to C27, or G14 through G21. To see a map, click on Alternative Check In Sites on the MSP website.
Frequent flyers should also consider the new “TSA Pre” program, which took off last month at MSP and in six other US cities. In the upgraded security line, pre-screened passengers don’t have to take off their shoes, jackets, belts or remove their laptops.
“I was instant approved, which is amazing. That doesn’t usually happen with the TSA either,” said Brian Keegan of St Paul. “I think they’ve been listening to their public and their customers.”
Frequent Delta and American airline travelers who don’t pose a TSA security risk are now ushered through the TSA Pre line after a background check. The information on passengers is shared between the airlines and the TSA. Up to four hundred people can sail through an hour, which shortens lines for the rest of us.
If you don’t fly often, you can apply to the TSA Pre program for a screening and a fee.
“The idea is that people who fly on a regular basis probably don’t pose a threat to security of the nation, so it’s a way to acknowledge that fact,” said Scrovonski.
Minneapolis-based travel expert Terry Trippler has even more advice to get through lines: Use your shoe.
“Your shoe is the greatest container for getting through security,” said Trippler. “Take your change, take your money, take your wallet, put it in your shoe, so it’s all in one spot, so when it comes through security, the bin comes through, your phone is in your shoe, everything.”
Scrovonski adds some little known other facts when it comes to shoes. She says kids under 12 don’t have to take off shoes in security lines, a big help to parents and all of us with spring break approaching.
“Kindles and iPads don’t have to be taken out of their cases like laptops do,” said Scrovonski.
Lastly, Scrovonski said to remember to put liquids in containers three ounces or less. Sometimes people put three ounces of liquid in a large container, but Scrovonkski said new screening equipment will automatically flag you for a bag check if that’s the case, again slowing down the lines.