Flying soon? Prepare for long lines in Sioux Falls

Transportation

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Mechanical problems involving two Transportation Safety Administration x-ray machines are slowing the security screenings at Sioux Falls Regional Airport. Both scanners went down at the same time early Friday morning, creating a long line that stretched all the way downstairs into the lobby, while causing a half-dozen air travelers to miss their flights.

Technicians have temporarily fixed one of the x-ray scanners and it has been screening bags throughout the day, but it’s still not 100%. Replacement parts have been ordered for both machines. Meanwhile, air travelers have been taking the long lines in stride.

Brookings newlywed Savannah Thorne is cutting her honeymoon flight close.

“I’ve got nine minutes. So, we’ll see if I make it,” Thorne said.

Thorne is flying to Miami where she and her husband will embark on a cruise. A text alerted her about the screening delays at the airport.

“We just came as soon as we could and expected really long lines, so, I think considering they’re not as long as I thought they’d be, so it’s moving pretty quickly,” Thorne said.

TSA is recommending travelers show up at least two hours ahead of their flights and check as many of their bags as possible. Too many carry-ons will only further slow the screening process.

Airport administrators say the x-ray problems have been frustrating, but that they’re working to try to keep everyone on-time as they make their way through the lines.

“We know it’s a very frustrating process to travel to begin with, so when you add in some of these unforeseen issues, it’s a challenge,” Sioux Falls Regional Airport Executive Director Dan Letellier said.

But travelers like Thorne say they’re up to the challenge, as long as the line keeps moving.

THRONE: It’s definitely not the best situation. But I think everyone’s taking it pretty well.
PERRY: Including you?
THORNE: Including me, for now. We’ll see.

TSA is hoping the replacement parts arrive sometime Friday. TSA says it’s possible both scanners could be in operation when the terminal opens Saturday morning.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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