Mid-Continent Airport advises arriving two hours early

Mid-Continent Airport officials are asking fliers to arrive at the airport two hours early — especially during what has become a busy morning rush hour.

Valerie Wise, air service and business development manager for the airport, said 11 flights now leave between 6 and 8 a.m., and that causes backups at the security checkpoint.

With the busy summer travel season approaching, she said, passengers can expect delays.

"The lines are starting to get long already," she said.

Wise said the busiest time is 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. Passengers arriving around that time should expect to see a line at the security checkpoint.

"It can get back down to the gift shop area," she said. "A 15-minute wait is not uncommon."

More passengers these days have carry-on luggage, Wise said, and that increases the time it takes to get through security.

More than 57,000 passengers boarded flights in Wichita last month, she said, adding that the figures in the summer months will be slightly higher.

She offered these tips for passengers:

* Check in online. You can print a boarding pass and pay luggage fees online up to 24 hours before departure.

* Arrive at the gate at least 30 minutes before departure to ensure that there is enough time to board before the door closes.

* Review Transportation Security Administration rules. If in doubt, put liquids in checked luggage

* Dress for travel. Slip-on shoes and little or no jewelry or metal will make it easier to get through security.

* Make sure the names on the boarding pass and government-issued photo ID match.