DENVER — Travelers headed out of Denver International Airport (DIA) will need to give themselves plenty of extra time on Friday.
Security lines to get through TSA checkpoints at DIA are backed up Friday morning.
As of 6 a.m. Friday, security lines extended into the baggage claim areas of the airport.
Before COVID, travelers could check calculated security wait times on DIA's website. The airport scrapped that to reduce costs in the pandemic.
DIA hopes to bring back that service with a different system after it goes through more testing. DIA expects that to go live by the end of 2021.
Airport security lines are managed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and not by DIA.
The TSA, like many industries, has suffered from staffing shortages because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over summer, the agency began offering $1,000 as an incentive to hire more people nationwide.
But as employment concerns persist, the number of travelers is approaching 2019 levels, meaning the TSA has to balance the need among security lines.
Last week, for instance, the TSA only offered PreCheck, its expedited security process for approved passengers, at the airport's south checkpoint.
"[TSA agents] predict how many PreCheck passengers will be there on a given day/during a certain time to decide how many PreCheck lanes (one or two) need to open," TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers told 9NEWS. "Recently they haven’t had the PreCheck population to warrant opening both sides."
DIA is also trying to fill its open jobs throughout the airport, from restaurants to the parking lots.
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