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TSA: More delays, more complaints, some hope


The long security lines that have plagued many U.S. airports and have driven some airports, including Atlanta, to turn the job over to private contractors, have been getting worse again, after some winter relief. At some airports, passengers have now been advised to arrive 3 hours early for flights.

Ironically, one of the worst problems this week, at Atlanta, appears to be caused by work on a solution. Atlanta is one of the airports where TSA is on notice to speed it up or lose the job. On Monday morning, though, things went the opposite way when TSA closed one of its three security areas to install automated equipment it hopes will speed up the lines.

As a result, the Monday morning business crowd, along with post Mothers-day travelers and more, had to pass through the remaining lines, causing a buildup that overflowed first into the atrium and then into the baggage claim areas. Passengers spent as much as 90 minutes in the lines.

The Terminal South area, where the new system is going in, should re-open by May 24, according to TSA. In addition to having an automated bin return system, it will also have loading spaces that will allow 5 passengers at a time at each land to unload their belongings into bins. Bins that need inspection would be automatically moved to an inspection station instead of holding the line.

Other airports feeling the crunch particularly hard include Denver, which has posted the 3-hour notices, and New York, where the Port Authority, operator of the three area airports, warned TSA that "the patience of the flying public has reached a breaking point...we can no longer tolerate the continuing inadequacy of TSA passenger screening services."

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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The overcrowding of US Airports is easily solved. Drag the minds of those who make decisions into the 21st Century. - Better late than never.

If you're only making an international connection in the US - you stay in the International Departures Lounge until your onward flight is boarding.

The rest of the world has been doing it for decades.

And one other thing. Stop confusing making travel safe with just insulting people who are not Americans. You've had long enough to get your act together.


The TSA currently charges $5.60 US for a one way trip originating in the USA, up to a max of $11.20 a trip.  Given the actual time you are "serviced" by the TSA, that seems more than adequate to fund the screening process.

Two problems as I see it.  1)  Likely not all of this money goes to the TSA.  The federal government is notorious at shifting designated monies to its pet projects, so I expect TSA money is going elsewhere. 2)  The TSA tolerates terrible behavior from its employees.   Many TSA agents are professionals, but I've run into many losers over the years as well.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

Maybe its time to start profiling. Mom, Dad and the kids aren't a risk. Old people with walking difficulties. Same.  I prefer the interview I had in the check-in line before leaving the UK. "Where is your destination in the US - Have you been before - where's the nearest Pub can you walk to - how many pubs are there - name them - what's your occupation - qualifications - name a typical job you'd do ? " And while you talk some guy is watching you closely. Whether he checks your info on his laptop I don't know. But everyone stays relaxed. Smiles and thank you. She was quite a good looker too.

Last edited by GarryRF

I think Karl has hit on a key point in his TSA comments: behavior.

Long bureaucratic lines can bring out the worst in us, both on the line and running it...but the better the attitude of those running it, the fewer incidents of any kind will happen. Some of my experience of that has been as a high school assistant principal in schools where the city mandated scanning at the entrances. When the right tone is set by supervisors, the friction level is lower, and even though there is resentment at scanning, it's directed elsewhere—fewer instances of 'air rage' in the classroom.

I suspect that most of the training TSA staff get is on how to find things, how to be alert, etc., and not very much focus on 'your job is to get the regular traveler as quickly and pleasantly as possible to the gate; concentrate on that and let the machine find anything that shouldn't be there."

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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