TSA to address extreme waits, upcoming summer travel season

At some airports, lines during peak hours have topped 90 minutes.

"It's one thing to understand that I am going to be discommoded and inconvenienced to get through a security line to protect me and everybody else", said Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., on May 12.

"Our task is to keep passengers moving, but also, and most importantly, keep passengers safe", Johnson said, adding later, "three hours is not ideal". "We've developed a plan - an aggressive plan - to deal with it and to provide continued aviation security for the American people", he said. The TSA has fewer screeners and has tightened security procedures.

Passengers and elected officials are complaining about Transportation Security Administration delays at airports in North Texas and across the nation, even before the busy travel season arrives. "I think people should check their bags more often so it would go a lot faster". However, it also states that during the TSA jam, passengers proclaimed it took up to an hour to get through.

Since checked baggage fees were a response to the burgeoning fuel costs of 2008, the senators argued, the current decline in oil prices should allow airlines to safely drop them now. But that doesn't appear to be a solution either.

Adding to the delays: TSA agents are instructed to use more thorough screening techniques after terrorist attacks in Europe and news last summer that TSA agents failed to detect 67 of 70 fake bombs planted in luggage during regular security tests.

"The problems at checkpoints across the country are complex and not easy to resolve", said Todd Hauptli, CEO of the airport executives group. Southwest Airlines - which is the only US airline that doesn't charge for checked bags - is the predominant airline at Midway. ABC News reports that in the past three years, Congress and the Transportation Security Administration cut the number of screening officers by 10%, costing almost 5,000 jobs. However, not enough people enrolled for TSA to realize the anticipated efficiencies.

He makes his way to the end of the line, which turns out to be a healthy walk away from the security checkpoint.

Meanwhile, TSA staffing has been down as the struggling agency loses screeners at rates of 100 per week, the AP reported.

The union representing TSA officers told House and Senate leaders this week that 6,000 additional screeners are needed - and 768 will not offset the numbers lost through attrition. "We were missing 30 passengers for a flight to Orlando".

The letter said the Port Authority is exploring the idea of discontinuing service with the TSA in favor of a private security screening company.

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