Airport and airline officials pulled out emergency cots and other supplies Sunday night after delays in crowded TSA security lines left 450 passengers stranded overnight because they missed their flights. The problems just seem to be growing daily.
At the heart of the issue is that Congress cut staffing for TSA by 10% at the same time that air travel is growing. They went on the theory that more people would be signing up for PreCheck, which doesn't need as much staff to process...but the PreCheck numbers didn't grow as much as the planners hoped, and now the chickens have come home to roost—in long lines.
American and Delta have begun deploying their own staff along security lines in Chicago to try to speed things up by reminding people to get their shoes off, liquids and laptops out, etc. but those are only stopgap measures. Even the shift of funds to allow TSA to hire another 768 agents will not bring immediate relief, as agents must be hired and trained.
Perhaps the time has come for the President to declare America's airports a disaster zone?