Five California airports have the nation’s slowest passport checkpoint times

The Century Boulevard entrance to Los Angeles International Airport.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

Americans are expected to travel in record numbers this summer, thanks to low gasoline prices and declining air fares.

But if you fly abroad, expect a long wait at U.S. airports when you return, especially if you fly back to California.

A new study by, a website that compares and evaluates loyalty reward programs, found that California has five of the 10 airports with the nation’s longest wait times at passport checkpoints. And summer wait times are the longest, the study found.

That may not be surprising given that international travel has been on the rise and airports are more crowded than ever.


The Department of Commerce said international visitation to the U.S. grew 0.4% to a record 75.3 million visitors last year, and the agency forecast a 2.6% increase this year to 77.3 million visitors.

The average wait time at passport checkpoints nationwide for June was 20 minutes, up 3% from last June, according to Milecards, which crunched data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

For the last 12 months, Sacramento International Airport had the longest passport wait times, with an average wait of 33 minutes. Just over half of all international passengers waiting at Sacramento International Airport waited more than 30 minutes, the study found.

Among the other California airports with the longest average wait times over the last 12 months were Oakland (27 minutes), Fresno (27), Ontario (26), San Francisco (24) and Los Angeles (22).


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