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Get the lowdown on TSA lines

How do I find out how long the TSA lines are at the Medford airport? Is there a phone number, website or app?

— Judy K.

There are a couple of ways to get the lowdown on TSA lines, Judy, but the solutions aren’t foolproof.

The easiest thing to do is call the local TSA administrative number at 541-776-3731, according to Debbie Smith, deputy director of security at the Medford airport.

“They should be able to tell you what the wait time is,” Smith said.

This comes with a significant caveat, as wait times can fluctuate. It might be a 5-minute wait when you call, but when you roll up a half hour later, park your car and get through checking your bags, conditions may have completely shifted.

“Things can change so quickly around the airport,” Smith said. “Things can change in an instant.”

If you are smartphone savvy, you can download the My TSA app. Among its features is the ability to “check how busy the airport is likely to be on your specific day and time of travel based on historical data,” according to the TSA website.

We downloaded the app to check it out. On Tuesday, Jan. 22 — the day we downloaded the app — we got a bar graph showing average wait times throughout the day, hour by hour. It’s interesting, for sure. We’re just not sure how useful historical data would be to a person who just slept through two alarms and has to boogie to the airport with no coffee in their system.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.