In 2015, the TSA screened 708 million passengers, which is roughly 1.9 million people per day. On top of that, those 708 million people checked more than 432 million bags and transported 1.6 billion carry-ons - and that's not including airport employees.
With that amount of people coming and going through airport security, it's no wonder that sometimes you'll encounter miserable long lines like this one. But luckily, the TSA has been working on several solutions to end long lines and the headaches that come with it, such as new screening technology.
The other solution to get around long lines is by signing up for the TSA's PreCheck program. In order to join, you'll pay $85 for a membership that lasts five years.
You'll need to set up an appointment to provide the TSA with some personal information to complete an in-person background check that will also require your fingerprints. Next, Homeland Security will take that info to "conduct a security threat assessment."
Once you pass your background checks, after the processing time takes a few weeks, you're ready to go and faster than ever. Once approved, you'll receive a notice in the mail and you'll be given a traveler number that you can enter when you book your flight. This way you won't need a special ID card or the like.
According to the TSA site, PreCheck members wait less than five minutes to go through security and members won't need to take off their shoes, belts or jackets, they won't have to remove laptop computers, and can keep their liquids in their bags too.
So far, the PreCheck technology is in operation at 180 airports across the country and is available for certain airlines. If you're interested, you can sign up here. Or, if you're headed to a concert by LiveNation, you might see a registration booth and you can sign up there.
Don't want to pay the $85? In order to get more people signed up, TSA has partnered with certain airlines and hotel chains to offer discounts via loyalty and rewards programs, but it's unknown how much of a discount you can get, but some are eligible for full reimbursements.