Morning crush caused by another Atlanta flight has eased, says Lincoln Airport official

IndustriesAssociated Press

The morning rush at Lincoln's airport has eased, thanks to efforts by airport officials to get the recent crush of morning passengers through ticket and security gates.

Airport officials have worked with Delta Air Lines and the Transportation Security Agency to solve problems that began when another flight to Atlanta was added to the airport's morning schedule in September, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/16TElBq ).

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Since the addition of the flight, passenger traffic at the Lincoln Airport is up more than 30 percent for Delta. Both Delta and United Airlines now each have two flights that leave between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.

That initially resulted in longer lines at ticket counters and security checkpoints in the morning, leading some people to miss their flights. But as of Dec. 18, no passenger who showed up on time had missed a flight for more than a week, Lincoln Airport Director David Haring said.

Several factors led to the crush, Haring said, including the tendency of Lincoln passengers to arrive about 30 minutes before their flights, despite being advised to arrive at least an hour earlier.

The surge also taxed the TSA, he said. Airport officials offered to pay for additional TSA staffing or take over some of their duties, but were told that was prohibited under federal law. So the airport worked with Delta to adjust staffing at the ticket counters and began offering free coffee in the gate areas to encourage people to go through security earlier.

The TSA also chipped in, opening up security screening 15 minutes earlier in the morning, Haring said.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com