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Travelers are experiencing long lines at Logan Airport as holiday travel kicks into full gear

At Logan Airport, travelers lined up for COVID-19 testing ahead of the Christmas holiday on Monday. Some people had been in line for over four hours. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staffSuzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Some people waited up to four hours to get tested for COVID-19 at Logan Airport this week amid a rise in cases fueled by the Omicron variant.

XpresCheck offers coronavirus testing at Terminals E and C at Logan, and judging by the length of the lines Monday, the demand for tests this holiday travel season is high.

Julie Ferguson, a spokeswoman for XpresCheck, said there is no shortage of tests but people need to make an appointment in advance; it shouldn’t be a last-minute decision that’s made at the airport.

“We are an appointment-only service,” she said. “We’ve increased our hours. If you want to get a test, you should make an appointment.”


Logan officials are also recommending travelers get tested before they arrive at the airport.

“Logan Airport offers COVID testing. But with busy holiday travel, it’s recommended you obtain a test prior to coming to the airport if a negative test is required to travel to your final destination,” officials wrote in a tweet on Monday.

Travel is down about 25 percent from this time in 2019, according to Jennifer Mehigan, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Logan.

“I can tell you this week isn’t as busy as Thanksgiving week, where we saw nearly 1 million passengers,” Mehigan said in an e-mail.

“We will have a few busy days before and after the holiday,” she said. “The 23rd and Jan 3 are the busiest days around the holidays.”

Officials with the Transportation Security Administration said travelers should still be prepared for high passenger volume from now through Jan. 3. To keep screening lines moving quickly, travelers are urged to check the TSA website to see what you can bring and to make sure you’re packing properly. If you’re unsure of what you can bring on the plane, you can get answers by submitting questions to @AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter.


TSA officials are recommending that travelers arrive at the security checkpoint two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights. They also suggest using gift bags to transport presents and to avoid using any wrapping paper because TSA officers may need to unwrap the gifts during the screening process — and that applies to items both in carry-on bags and checked luggage. You can always wrap the gifts when you arrive at your destination.

Airport officials are encouraging travelers to download the FlyLogan app to receive notifications on the status of your flight, reserve parking, and preorder food and have it delivered to your gate.

Due to the expected increase in travel to and from Logan, state transportation officials said the Sumner Tunnel swing lane will not be deployed on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.

Transportation officials are also reminding motorists to check on traffic conditions by dialing 511, visiting or using the GoTime mobile app.

“We anticipate holiday travel on all roadways across the Commonwealth will be busy over the upcoming weeks, and we encourage the public to use readily available real-time traffic tools to help plan the timing of their travel,” highway administrator Jonathan Gulliver said in a statement.

Officials said the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane on Interstate 93 between Boston and Quincy will extend its afternoon hours by opening from 2 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 23 and Dec. 30, and it will be closed on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.


Emily Sweeney can be reached at Follow her @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.