Wait times at Bradley expected to rise this Memorial Day weekend - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Wait times at Bradley expected to rise this Memorial Day weekend

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Long lines were reported at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks Monday. (iWitness photo) Long lines were reported at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks Monday. (iWitness photo)
WINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WFSB) -

Wait times at Bradley International Airport are only expected to get longer this week as the Memorial Day weekend approaches.

Travelers fear it may be the new normal for the summer.

“I feel lousy, it takes a long time to go through security," said Lenny Laporte, Southbridge, MA. "It seems like the government could help us out and get us through the lines a lot faster.”

The lines were long on Monday. Seasoned commuters reported double the usual wait.

One passenger sent Eyewitness News a photo of the security line snaking around.

It's a scene that's been playing out around the country. It's enough to frighten passengers, many of whom said they've waited for hours and even spent nights on cots due to missing flights.

Part of the problem, according to travelers, is not enough staff and airline baggage fees.

With a number of carriers charging $20 or $25 per checked bag, people have been trying to cram what they can into carry-on bags. That's making a lot more for security agents to screen.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal called on airlines to get rid of those fees for the summer.

"By eliminating the baggage fees, fewer people will carry their bags onto the plane, [which will lead to ] less screening [and] fewer lines," Blumenthal said.

Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer and kicks off the summer travel season. Travelers fear things will reach a breaking point.

"Definitely this is the longest I’ve noticed in a long time," said Janine Mesnil of Tolland. "And now we’re getting into the summer travel, Memorial Day, all that.

Mesnil said she's worried about more lines.

"Coming home yes, but this is our vacation for the summer," she said.

The waits have reportedly been so frustrating that a social media campaign with the hashtag #IHateTheWait has taken off along with a website devoted to complaints and pictures of long lines.

At Bradley in Windsor Locks, business travelers like Kimberly Hagerty from Broadbrook said contending with summer travelers makes it hard enough as it is.

“It’s just going to get worse and when you’re this space-constrained, the more people that travel the worse it gets," Hagerty said.

The airport advises arriving as early as possible before a flight.

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