As a 20-year business traveler, I am a big supporter of the ongoing improvements at Charleston International Airport.
The enhanced restaurant options, improved décor and vibrant natural lighting represent our city well.
Travelers have been patient during construction, especially as relates to the new security screening process in anticipation of an expedited first-class system. The airport transformation consolidated two terminals and four security gates into one system that is neither expedited nor best in class.
It’s easy to identify the good airports across the country. They have both regular screening and TSA pre-check, which business and regular travelers have come to expect.
And while the new system seems to have the capability for six lanes frequently only one lane is operational, and pre-check is limited.
Airport security can define airports and travel today. I am optimistic that the current system is both temporary and transitional, but to add to my frustration, no one at the airport has been able to explain why the other lanes are not being utilized and why there is no fulltime TSA pre-check. Plenty of personnel, plenty of machines but they sit, unused.
There is no doubt that all who arrive at CHS airport will be thrilled by the new facilities, but the lasting impression will be the last impression. And standing in a security line that appears to have significant unused capacity is not good for tourism and it’s not good for business.