Airlines, passengers frustrated over long TSA lines - KPTV - FOX 12

Airlines, passengers frustrated over long TSA lines

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Some of the nation's largest airports are threatening to fire the TSA. This comes amid growing frustration from passengers over long waits in security lines.

It's probably the worst part of flying: being stuck in airport security lines. Now, passenger's patience is reaching a breaking point. That's according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is now threatening to privatize the screening process.

Passengers aren't too happy as several of the nation's largest airports report security screening waits of an hour or more are becoming more common, and those long lines are causing lots of stress.

"I was running like I was in Home Alone trying to get to that flight. Luckily, I made it. They were about to close that door," said a passenger.

The Port Authority overseeing Laguardia, JFK and Newark Liberty International is stepping in after angry complaints from passengers.

In a letter sent to the TSA, the agency said it's no longer going to tolerate the continuing inadequacy of TSA passenger screening service.

"Passengers wait times at TSA screening points at Port Authority airports have risen dramatically in recent months, prompting angry complaints from passengers, terminal operators, and airlines citing inconvenience, delayed flights and missed flight connections."

The letter also includes examples of how long it has taken passengers to get screened.

At JFK Airport, this year during the period between March 15 to April 15, there were 253 occurrences of 20 plus minute waits in versus just 10 instances over the same period last year.

Passenger frustrations have turned into a social media campaign. An airline industry group has created the hashtag: #iHateTheWait

The group is asking fliers to take pictures of long security lines and post them on social media along with the hashtag. The campaign hopes to push TSA into hiring more staff, while also giving other travelers a heads up on the long wait times.

However, some believe the long lines are for their own safety, so they just give themselves plenty of extra time.

"You know, better me safe than sorry," said one passenger.

The TSA has already warned that there may be longer waits during the upcoming summer travel season because of staffing issues.

The Homeland Security Secretary has called on Congress to approve more funding to pay overtime for TSA officers this summer. So far, that hasn't happened.

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