Find out how long the line is at airport security before you go

Web app or iPhone app WhatsBusy predicts how long it'll take to get through airport security so you can plan your departure accordingly.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
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Matt Elliott
2 min read
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

I do not enjoy air travel. Of the many aspects I dislike -- the potential for exploding during takeoff, middle seats in coach, turbulence, the person in front of you fully reclining for the entire flight, the potential for crashing during landing -- there is one I must face before I even leave the house: the anxiety about getting caught in a miles-long security line at the airport and missing my flight. Perhaps for my next trip that requires a flight, WhatsBusy can reduce my anxiety a bit -- at least until I get to the gate and begin to think about getting on the plane.

WhatsBusy is available as a Web app or an iPhone app, and it predicts the wait you'll encounter when you arrive at the airport. WhatsBusy states that its "forecasts are made with real data, not social media check-ins or tweets. We analyze things like things like weather, demographics, and events to predict crowdiness at your favorite places."

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

The Web app is more helpful than the iPhone app. It offers a drop-down menu of major airports and suggests answers as you enter an airport name or three-letter code, helping you find your airport sooner. And it lets you search up to a week out. In contrast, the iPhone app recognizes only three-letter airport codes, and it does not offer a drop-down menu. It also makes no attempt to guess your query as you enter it. Worse, my iPhone attempted to autocomplete my queries. Also, the iPhone app lets you search only for the current day. Both apps let you enter a time of day and return a four-hour block around that time to give you an idea of wait times.

WhatsBusy tracks only airports at the moment, but it states other places where lines frequently occur -- DMVs, museums, national parks, restaurants and bars, and parking -- are in the works. In fact, if you sign up for a free account with the Web app, you can view wait times at museums. It appears to be an early beta -- the page layout needs some work, and the Add to Favorites button doesn't work. You don't need to create an account to view airport wait times on the Web app or iOS app.

(via Lifehacker)