Long security lines at airports around the U.S. Is the TSA to blame?
Marcus Washington has more on why some airports are considering private security contractors.
Extremely long TSA lines and wait times are nothing new for BWI Thurgood Marshall International Airport.
“Sometimes they’re really long and sometimes they’re really short,” one traveler said.
“I have TSA PreCheck and still find myself still feeling the need to get to the airport two hours early, just so I can avoid the long lines,” another traveler said.
Across the country, airports have been hit hard with long wait times–up to 90 minutes during spring break.
In just one week last month, nearly 6,800 American Airlines travelers missed their flights because of the long lines.
“I travel almost every week. During spring break, you could noticeably see a significant increase in the folks traveling. I live in Las Vegas, so that’s a popular destination,” one traveler said.
At Seattle Tacoma International Airport, or SeaTac, the waits lasted longer than an hour. The SeaTac Airport director announced Tuesday the hiring of private contractors to help with administrative duties, freeing up TSA to focus solely on screening, as the airport explores dropping the agency altogether.
Twenty-two airports across the country now use private security firms for their screening. They say a big part of that is because TSA checkpoint wait times are increasing.
“It’s frustrating. In a way, you wish that they would gauge what the security risks are. Because if I’m flying with five small children, I think I’m less of a security risk than some other people,” said traveler Rachel Vaks.
“We’re working very hard to dramatically improve our ability to move people through shifting resources,” said Peter Neffenger, TSA administrator.
The reason behind all of this–the number of flyers is up, causing the wait to increase as well.
The TSA administrator says he may have to go to Congress to ask for more workers. That’s because the number of screeners is capped by Congress.