One passenger has “WTF” moment searching for the end of security line.
Last fall, Kemberlee Kaye reported on the continued incompetence of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and suggested that a smart presidential candidate should add become a “strong proponent of defunding the TSA.”
Now, as one party has a presumptive nominee and the other is still fighting over the matter, it turns out that things have already changed at the TSA! Changed as in gotten far, far worse, as airlines report that some 4,000 passengers have missed flights at O’Hare Airport because of the long wait times since February, and there have been reports of screening hold-ups, delayed baggage transport, and difficulties at many other airports.
Travelers flying out of Chicago just can’t catch a break. With increasingly long lines to get through security at the city’s airports, many travelers have been missing their flights, and some ended up sleeping at O’Hare International Airport on Sunday.
American Airlines put out cots for fewer than 100 travelers who missed their flights Sunday night due to the long lines at TSA security checkpoints.
Adrian Petra said he missed his flight after standing in line for 2 hours and 20 minutes.
The TSA has been urging passengers to get to the airport at least two hours early for domestic flights, and three hours early for international flights. However, some passengers have said that is not enough time to get through security and still make their flight.
This video shows one passenger’s quest to find the start of the security line at Chicago Midway Airport:
I already hate traveling in this environment. Unfortunately, our family has already booked tickets for a trip to the Maine coast this summer. If I had known this is what air travel had become, a road trip may have been planned instead.
Now, as news of the airport problems spread, one has to wonder if Americans are now contemplating summer travel plans that don’t involve flying.
But the TSA news gets even better!
TSA executives got fairly hefty pay bonuses for their hard work.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, cited as an example the assistant administrator of the office of security operations, who received “an amazing amount of bonuses” while his department “was in total failure.”
“Not to pick on one person, but this is what’s so frustrating when the rank and file sees this,” Chaffetz said of the low morale plaguing the TSA. “In 13 months, he gets $90,000 in bonuses.”
It takes real talent to screw up a major American industry this badly.
Furthermore, guess who the TSA blames for their boobery?
When asked about those long lines, the TSA essentially blamed you in a press release, specifically passengers who bring too many carry-on items:
“There are several factors that have caused checkpoint lines to take longer to screen passengers… including more people traveling with carry-on bags, in many cases bringing more than the airline industry standard of one carry-on bag and one personal item per traveler;
” Passenger preparedness can have a significant impact on wait times at security checkpoints nationwide…Individuals who come to the TSA checkpoint unprepared for a trip can have a negative impact on the time it takes to complete the screening process.”
The cherry on top of this flaming cake of incompetence is that TSA is retaliating against a whistleblower who publicly exposed weak procedures, has been back on the TSA payroll for one year now.
While having his old job back may seem ideal, Robert MacLean is a covert air marshal.
In January, the TSA assigned him to flights to the Middle East, “despite knowing that al-Qaida was searching the internet for images of air marshals in order to murder them,” said his attorney, Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project.
“It’s like putting a red X on every flight MacLean is assigned to. It’s a risk not only to him, but to the passengers on those planes.”
I suspect many Americans will be having their own TSA-inspited “WTF” moments in the next few months. Kemberlee is correct: A savvy candidate will make this a campaign issue. It should be “Yuge!”