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Why you can no longer show up at BOI only an hour before your flight

For the Boise Airport, the current issue of long wait times and busier terminals is a night and day change from this time last year.

BOISE, Idaho — A few years ago, people could budget an hour or so to get through ticketing and security and walk to their gate at the Boise Airport without much as a second thought or worry. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic nearing its end and more Americans ready to take to the skies, the Boise Airport is bracing for longer lines and more travelers going through the small airport.

For the Boise Airport, the current issue of long wait times and busier terminals is a night and day change from this time last year, when the coronavirus pandemic caused a dramatic drop in travelers.

In April of 2020, Boise Airport spokesperson Sean Briggs told KTVB that the airport saw a roughly 95% drop in passenger traffic in March 2020, the same month that the coronavirus was first reported in the Gem State.

A year later, Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp told KTVB that they were already preparing for one of the busiest summers ever.

"Passenger travel is probably going to be busier this summer than we have seen possibly ever," Hupp said.

Now, the airport is asking travelers to budget more time to get through tickets and TSA security.

Briggs told KTVB on Monday that, "Gone are the days where you could show up an hour, hour and a half before your flight. You need to show up two hours before your flight to give yourself plenty of time to park, clear security and get to that gate."

In May, Briggs said the Boise Airport regained about 86% of its previous passenger traffic and June has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Briggs emphasized that travelers need a plan when going through the airport and should be aware of peak travel times.

"Again, the first thing you can do is show up early, but secondly, have a plan. Know which airline you're flying, check in with it beforehand, understand if your flight is on time, delayed, and just come in with a good attitude and some patience. If you come during those peak morning periods between 6 to 8 a.m., you are going to see some longer lines," he explained. "There are periods of the day that ebb and flow where the line has died down, but there are those peaks throughout the day."