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Study: Sky Harbor ranked in top three for shortest customs wait times

(Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Photo)

PHOENIX – Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport topped the list among major U.S. airports for the shortest wait times in customs, according to a 12-month study by milecards.com.

The study was conducted from October 2016 to September 2017, focusing on airports that average more than 500,000 international passengers per year along with a sub-set for major airports who average more than 3 million per year.

Sky Harbor ranked third overall among all U.S. airports and first among major airports with an average wait time of 7.4 minutes, and a maximum average of 22.62 minutes.

Sky Harbor beat out major airports Charlotte Douglas International and Minneapolis-Saint Paul International, whose average wait times were 8.95 minutes and 10.02 minutes, respectively.

Among all airports, West Palm Beach at 5.12 minutes, and Chicago-Midway at 5.74 minutes, ranked ahead of Sky Harbor.

Despite the high ranking, Sky Harbor’s international flight options are limited.

While 22 non-stop international flights are offered out of Sky Harbor, only two are to Europe. The remaining consist of nine flights Mexico, 10 to Canada and one to Costa Rica. Of those, however, nine are seasonal according to the airport’s website.

According to milecards.com, February and March are recommended as the best time to travel abroad, avoiding the months of November and December when lines cause longer wait times.

Additionally, travelers can sign up for travel programs such as Global Entry, which allows passengers to use kiosks at Sky Harbor and earn TSA PreCheck status.

Entry to the program is $100 and requires a background check and an interview with a customs officer before use of the kiosks is granted.

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