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The FASTEST Way to Pass Security at BWI – by an Airline Pilot

In a time crunch at Baltimore-Washington’s fast-growing International Airport – BWI? Or you just want to grab Chipotle on the other side more quickly?

After years of commuting from the DC Metro area to New York, much of it out of BWI, I’ve figured out the airport pretty well.

Here’s how to get though TSA security at BWI as quick as possible.

Get a CLEAR Membership to fly through security at BWI

What is the fastest way through security at Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)?
From the BWI airport website itself, you can see the obvious choice to get through security fastest is with CLEAR.

For those wondering: how long is security at BWI?, it’s typically not as long as other major airports, but lines can take 45-60+ minutes over the holidays.

One sure-fire method to getting through security fast at Baltimore/BWI, or any airport really, is to become a member of CLEAR.

CLEAR’s biometric security, pre-screening, and enormous investments guarantee you the quickest way through security. And I’m saying that as an airline pilot.

I’ve never, in my thousands of times passing security, seen a line for CLEAR anywhere. Sign up before everyone else does. Remember when TSA Precheck was fast?

And on top of everything, you can upload your COVID-19 vaccination information into the CLEAR App to make your travels so much easier.

You can receive a free 6-month, cancelable trial or subscribe via some credit cards, such as American Express Platinum.

If you’re flying out of Terminals A, B, or C at BWI (Southwest or American), check out the hidden third checkpoint

The fastest way through security at BWI is often times through security checkpoint C.
You might walk past this sign at BWI without a second thought. Try it out next time!

Have you ever walked into the terminal and been shocked by the length of the lines at BWI?

I sure have. Especially at the Southwest Airlines terminal (A and B).

Luckily, there’s a somewhat more elusive third checkpoint, checkpoint C. In my experience, the lines there are much shorter than at A and B.

It means walking 100 feet, or 30 seconds each way in a slightly wrong direction for those departing from A and B, so if you’re already at A or B and the line is short, just stick with that one.

For those flying out of BWI Terminals D or E (Delta, United, Spirit)

Terminals D and E at BWI are interconnected, but separate from terminals A, B, and C. This means there are two security checkpoints available for those flying:

  • Delta, United
  • JetBlue, Spirit, Allegiant, Alaska, Boutique, Frontier, Sun Country
  • Air Canada, Air Senegal, British Airways, Condor

You can pass security at checkpoints D and E.

Typically, security checkpoint E is busier during the evening hours when there are more international flights departing. The rest of the day, lines at E tend to be shorter than at D.

For more tips from an airline pilot to make your airport experience faster and easier, read:

10 Ultimate Tricks Airline Pilots Use to Pass US Customs – FAST

An Airline Pilot Shares the 10 Best Ways to Avoid the Middle Seat on Your Next Flight

The Airline Pilot’s Complete Packing Guide You Should See

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