Recently we saw #IHateTheWait become a trending hashtag on the Internet as TSA staffing problems have created massive lines around the country.
Chicago’s two major airports, O’Hare and Midway, tweeted Tuesday morning, May 17, that security line wait times were longer than average, and customers should arrive at least three hours before their domestic and international flights.
That’s right, three hours early!!
A tweet from O’Hare:
Chicago O’Hare airport warns travelers to arrive three hours before flights https://t.co/DMog9SZfnp
— TIME.com (@TIME) May 18, 2016
This problem was not unique to Chicago. It has pervaded all the major airports around the country. In fact, recently I experienced Logan’s version of #IHateTheWait after spending two hours in traffic from Worcester and another hour navigating both the checking in and the TSA lines.
In comparison, flying out of Worcester takes me 20 minutes from my house to the gate.
Let’s not forget the $87 in parking fees from Thursday night till Sunday morning, the tolls [$10.70 round trip traveling to/from Exit 10A and Logan.] and the potential of a four-hour round trip driving time traveling out of Boston.
On a side note, one of my friends cut the line because he was enrolled in GOES (Global Online Enrollment System).
Here are the benefits to be enrolled in GOES, as listed on their website:
- No processing lines
- No paperwork
- Access to expedited entry benefits to other countries
- Available at major U.S. airports
- Reduced wait times
If you plan to travel a lot this may be a good idea since it only costs $100 and will last for five years. Please note the application process includes a 30-minute interview in Boston.
For years, I have predicted that Worcester Regional Airport will become a major airport rivaling Manchester [New Hampshire] in the not-too-distant future. The only thing that has been holding back ORH was the instrument landing system, which is being upgraded to a Category III (CAT III) system and is expected to be operational next year.
This new system will enable planes to land when Airport Hill is shrouded in fog, our Achilles’ heel. Contrary to popular belief, the lack of an access road was never the major problem!
Now add in all the problems that the TSA is experiencing at larger airports and we have a perfect storm that will ensure the success of ORH when additional flights are announced as CAT III becomes a reality.
The only question is not if there will be major announcements, but how many over the next 12 months.
I am confident that over the next year we will see many positive developments.
I have never been more convinced that Worcester will rival Manchester and Providence within the next 10 years. The wait, the fees and inconvenience of Logan will only get worse and once CAT III is operational in 2017, it’s a whole new ballgame.
Bill Randell started and operates the local news website Worcester Herald, and is the owner and author of FlyORH, a website dedicated to Worcester Airport. He is also president and founder of Worcester-based businesses Advantage Benefits and ABG Real Estate.