Why the TSA, Congress, and Even the White House are Making Airport Security Lines Worse

Safety/Security

After years of increasingly frustrating airport security experiences, the introduction of Pre Check seemed like the first step in reversing the trend. For those who signed up for it, Pre Check did create dramatic improvements. Since that time, however, plans have changed, and the original idea of having nearly everyone speed through security has started to fade. This year, a variety of issues have come to a head, and security lines have, as American puts it, “grown exponentially.” It would be nice to say there’s a quick fix here, but there isn’t. Here’s how we got into this mess and why it’s not likely to get any better soon.

TBIT Security Line LAX

Though I’m certainly not an expert in airport security, I’ve long believed that it’s all theater. When the US finds bad guys, it’s through intelligence work that happens long before someone gets to the airport. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) loves to crow about all the contraband items it seizes every week, but let’s be honest. None of those were going to be used to bring down an airplane. More often than not, it’s some gun-lover who left his piece in a bag. Or someone who thought she could sneak through a knife that was never going to be used for nefarious purposes. The real security work is done before the airport experience entirely.

That being said, theater is something that serves a purpose. And for the government, there is no better way to convey the feeling of safety than by having a million hoops for everyone to jump through before boarding an airplane. Though I don’t believe security should be dismantled at the airport entirely, I continue to think the way it was done in the 1990s was probably good enough, keeping some of the rule changes (like banning boxcutters) that were put in place since then. Remember, the 9/11 hijackers didn’t sneak anything through the checkpoint. They brought boxcutters onboard which were perfectly legal at the time. When Pre Check launched, it seemed like a step in the right direction.

With Pre Check, if you were willing to give more information to the government, you could get cleared for lighter security treatment at the airport, something that resembled the dying days of the last millennium where your shoes stayed on and your laptops remained in their bags. (That pesky liquid rule, however….) Once I went through the laborious process to sign up, I fell in love with the program. It made traveling so much more pleasant.

But there was a problem. While the TSA saw Pre Check as the future, it couldn’t get there right away. Eventually, the hope was that nearly everyone would be Pre Check (US citizens at least) and most of the lines would be set up that way. The standard, slow body-scanning line would be the exception rather than the rule. In the beginning, however, there wasn’t enough demand to justify having enough Pre Check lines open long enough hours. That’s especially important because budgets are tight.

See, you’d think that TSA could just hire more people to staff appropriately, but it can’t. Congress sets the budget for TSA, and that determines how many screeners can be employed. Requests for increases don’t usually sail through.

With that background, TSA decided there was opportunity in trying to opt people into Pre Check lines even if they hadn’t applied. There were three programs that came out of this. The first was Secureflight-based. That’s the data you have to give to the government every time you fly: your full name, your birthdate, and your gender. Based on that information, some people could just be opted in without knowing it. They’d end up with Pre Check on their boarding passes and they’d sail right through. That continues today, though TSA did say last March that it was cutting back.

The other two programs were called Managed Inclusion and dealt with people at the airport. The first iteration of Managed Inclusion (artfully-named Managed Inclusion I) involved dogs that sniffed out bad things. If they approved, then you could be moved into the Pre Check line. The second iteration (you guessed it, Managed Inclusion II) used behavior detection officers to look for any suspicious micro-behaviors. If they found none, then people could be moved into Pre Check at the checkpoint.

This combination of programs allowed TSA to keep Pre Check lines open and filled with travelers. It helped them to justify dedicating people to staff those lines. In the meantime, TSA had big plans to ramp up enrollment in Pre Check. TSA knew that the process was so cumbersome to apply, and it wanted to lower those barriers. So it started looking for private sector companies that could help TSA mine public data to help verify identities. In theory, if this worked, then it could lead to the end of the in-person interview process and make it far easier to ramp up the program. But about a year ago, privacy concerns crushed that plan. That was a big blow.

Then last September, pressure ramped up on TSA to cut back on its inclusion of non-Pre Check members in Pre Check lanes. TSA announced that it would end the Managed Inclusion II program. Though it wants more dogs for Managed Inclusion I, the combination of fewer people being opted in and the pace of sign-ups slowing meant that the Pre Check lanes weren’t being utilized as fully as before.

This was good news for Pre Check members who hated having longer lines at Pre Check, but those lines had much greater capacity, moving about twice as fast as a regular line. With more people shifted to regular lines, TSA was forced to reallocate its workforce. And then meant Pre Check lines started closing at times when they used to be open. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I’m told that the security process itself has been slowed. Searches are now more thorough and that’s taking longer to process.

The cherry on top of all this? TSA continues to be hamstrung in hiring. Air travel has grown significantly over the last few years. TSA screened 7 percent more passengers last year without being able to add screeners. It gets even worse than that. For 2016, the budget remained the same as 2015, but that followed three years of actual declines in screeners. Of it’s 42,000+ strong workforce, TSA is trying to get 300 more screeners in the 2017 budget. That’s barely going to make a dent as capacity continues to grow.

The end result is that lines continue to get longer. American says it has seen some customers forced to wait over an hour. That has either pushed the airline to delay flights or caused passengers to miss them. The problem extends beyond the checkpoint. TSA isn’t processing checked bags fast enough either, and that means bags aren’t getting on their flights. It’s only going to get worse as the number of passengers flowing through airports increases this summer.

So what’s the solution? Well, clearly TSA needs to hire more people. Congress without question needs to allocate more budget so TSA can start hiring. How to do that? Well, the White House’s budget plan from last year stole money that passengers were paying for security and used it for deficit reduction. That money needs to come back.

Is that realistic? Probably not. But as capacity ramps up further this summer, lines are just about guaranteed to get longer. It’s only going to get worse if the government doesn’t act.

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80 comments on “Why the TSA, Congress, and Even the White House are Making Airport Security Lines Worse

  1. While the TSA is waiting to hire more people, why don’t they just go back to the rules.

    People who buy into GE or TSA Pre can use the TSA Pre line, and people who don’t can’t. And while the people without it are waiting in giant lines, you can have them walk past sign after sign telling them to register for it.

    Because making those of us who have paid for a service – admittedly not paid very much – waiting in line behind grandpa who insists on taking his shoes off in the Pre line because “My son told me I had to take my shows off to go through security” is infuriating.

    Also annoying? Super hard to figure out when the TSA Pre lines open. And then when you’re there early – looking at you JFK T4 – they have all the airport employees and FAs using the Pre line because KCM isn’t open yet.

    If I performed at my job the way the Pre line performs at its role, I’d be out of a job.

    1. Except that something like 70-80% of passengers are once or twice a year travellers who can’t justify spending $80. What needs to happen is exactly what they described as the end goal – Pre Check rules as the default with slower security for high risk passengers. Canada already does this and it works fine for them.

      1. $80 is for five years, right? And GE is 100 for five?

        So 2 trips per year, 10 trips over five years – 8 bucks a trip is really crazy high to sail thru? I don’t think so.

        1. Perhaps, but that’s a bit of a hard and nebulous benefit to sell to the once or twice a year flyers, especially with the hassle (are they still requiring you to book appointments for interviews?) of applying to these programs. A “Spend $15 and get X benefit (board first, more legroom, “free” checked bag, whatever)” offer from the airlines is a much more discreet and simple benefit to communicate to your leisure flyers who are lucky if they fly enough to keep up with all the rule changes.

      2. Don’t tell the TSA, but many days I would gladly pay $20 or $30 per flight just to use PreCheck. The 5 year cost easily pays for itself when the lines move quickly, even if I were to only fly a couple times a year. I feel like most people just value their time and sanity for them and their family at far too little.

    2. Neil S – That’s the problem. There aren’t enough people to keep the Pre Check lines staffed and still be able to adequately support the other lines. So TSA has to shorten hours on Pre Check lines when it pulls more people out of them.

    3. If you have read all of the paper work. If and when the Pre – chek lane is open and available you may use it. The 85$ goesto the service of your fingerprints and backroundcheck and interview. As the signs. You must read the paper work. I do believe people who pay for it should be the only ones in that line .

  2. So what’s the solution? Well, clearly TSA needs to hire more people.

    Congress needs to dismantle the security theatre that costs billions & does very little for actual safety & security – but they wont do it because they need to appear as if they are doing something. As security lines continue to lengthen, people may choose to drive if they can since gas prices are cheep compared to even a year & a half ago.

  3. Interesting that the Managed Inclusion is probably why my spouse has got Pre-Check on her tix when I purchase the tickets under my name. If she buys a ticket just for herself she’s never gotten it.

    Quite frankly, I’m ok if the people who didn’t get pre-check aren’t allowed in the lines. Last year on a couple occasions the pre-check line went slower than the standard line which is completely contrary to the point of it. Now not opening the pre-check lines because everything else is backed up is unacceptable. We paid for a service and it should be available at peak times.

    1. Susanne – CLEAR remains a line-cutting tool, but that’s it. If you have Pre Check, then CLEAR lets you cut lines in front of other Pre Check people (if there are any). If you don’t have Pre Check, then CLEAR helps you cut lines in front of all the people who don’t have it, but you still get standard screening. I suppose if you don’t have Pre Check but you have CLEAR for some reason, then this does make CLEAR more useful.

  4. I am no TSA apologist, but it’s likely a bit more than simple “theatre” that’s taking place at our airports. Judging by the number of aviation-related terror attacks originating in the United States since 2002 (zero) I think they’re doing something right.

    Sure, a lot of it is hassles and power trips, and no system is foolproof, but I’d take long lines over a privatized, for-profit security system any day. Some things are not meant for the free market.

    1. Yes, conditioning people like you to line up and take it because only the benevolent government is saving you. The same government that Osama bin Laden was mad at because it disproportionately supported Israel over Palestine, used the corrupt Saud regime to host its bombers, and continued bombing Iraq long after the corrupt Kuwait emirs were placed back on their throne. The blowback of government folly redounded on 9/11 and continues to redound today. Osama bin Laden is winning, but the free market is the problem.

  5. And, by the way, don’t fool yourself: this Republican Congress views TSA as a government handout program and they’re more than willing to defund it to make a point about how “government is the problem, never the solution.”

    When people write in to complain about the lines, Congresscritters will easily pivot to say, “if only this wasn’t a government program and was handled by private industry …”

  6. I’m an Executive Platinum flyer with AA. I travel monthly from ORD-HNL. I’ve been noticing that if I try purchasing 2-3 tickets basically at the same time for the same route (ord-dfw-hnl) that the price for the 2nd and 3rd ticket goes way up in price like they are tracking my preferences and figure if I like that route they are going to charge me extra for it. Have you ever heard of this or had anyone else mention it to you? Thank Russ

    1. Not sure if this is related, but I have been shopping around for 1-way HNL-SAT flights in Sept. For the last month, I had been checking, AA had them as low as $425 pp and most other airlines the same. All of a sudden, two days ago, the lowest Hacker fare, i.e. Alaska and Hawaiian is now around $600, the lowest big 3 is UAL @ $725 and the cheapest AA is $1025 pp. This is insane. I hadn’t bought thinking they were stabilized, now I’m not so sure.

    2. rpfitton – It’s revenue management at work. There were probably only one or two tickets available at the low fare. Once the first one was gone, the next ones become more expensive.

      1. It’s more than “revenue management” or buckets. They absolutely track you and your preferences and your prices will be higher if you keep looking at the same tickets. There are some tricks to prevent this, but I am not posting them. Ask your company IT guy.

  7. So did Managed Inclusion II include the process whereby a TSA guy stood in the line with an iPad and tapped the screen when a passenger walked up without pre-check, and the screen would display an arrow that either pointed to the regular line or to the pre-check lin? That was not even good enough to call it security theater.

    Seriously though, I did not mind the longer lines so much as long as it was managed. My biggest thing is keeping on my shoes and not taking stuff out of my bag.

      1. Randomness is only good if the person can’t leave the line after being selected for strict screening. If they’re allowed to leave, they can just try again at another line, and keep doing so until they get the desired random call.

    1. Shane – Sure did. Just like going through customs in Mexico. (There, you push a button and if it’s green, you walk through. If it’s red, your bag gets searched.) That one is gone now.

    1. My wife and I paid for PreCheck. My three kids get it because of that. Generally, I see a non-Pre Check line for families. Not sure what you are referencing so it was not ” enough said”.

      1. Steve is probably also the type that likes 757’s because the door position means they don’t have deal with the riff-raff walking through first class on their way in

      1. These days it seems just about any companion, regardless of age gets Pre Check if at least one person on the reservation has it.

  8. Require all airlines to allow at least one free checked bag. That would ease some of the misery in the TSA lines. And onboard too.

    1. Except that the TSA is also having bag throughput issues for checked baggage. Sure it’d ease the “misery” in the line, but it’d just mean you’d have the misery of arriving without your bags.

      1. They divert baggage workers to ticket checking and directing positions on the Checkpoint floor, so less bags to search on the floor would actually result in faster baggage screening

  9. We pay for this TSA on each ticket.. the services TSA provide should be matching demand increases, TSA receives more money as more people fly…
    therefore local TSA operation should be able to hire more agents… in agreement with the airlines, who know forecasts really well. I know wishful thinking.

  10. Cranky, I don’t believe that TSA needs to hire more screeners. I believe that non-screening job functions should not be performed by trained TSA screeners, which would effectively free up screeners to perform necessary screening of passengers and property.

    Specifically, it shouldn’t be a trained screener who verifies that your ID matches your boarding pass/ticket. That task was originally the responsibility of the airport and air carriers, but because there was a question of reimbursement for that task, and because several people were permitted to enter the passenger screening checkpoint without proper documentation (which caught the attention of the media and made for a great story), TSA agreed to perform that function. Currently, TSA uses trained screeners to perform this task, when it could use administrative, non-screening-procedures-trained employees-employees who would not be unionized and who wouldn’t make $25-$35 an hour to review tickets and drivers’ licenses.

    Additionally, it shouldn’t be a trained screener who is assigned as sentry at a passenger checkpoint screening exit lane. Both of those positions, in my opinion, can be performed by non-screening-procedures-trained TSA employees, which would free TSA screeners-who are trained to screen passengers and baggage-to more effectively screen passengers.

    1. TSA rotates the screeners during the day. Can you imagine spending 8 hours looking at the X-ray of peoples carry ons?

      1. TSA could still rotate screeners between the various security-training-required positions but could eliminate the two non-security-training-required positions I mentioned from that rotation.

        1. Why do you think this is purely “administrative”? It’s part of the rotation. Just want to get rid of some union employees?

      1. Take a look at the many TSO positions offered right now on USAJobs. Salary listed divided by 2080 (hours in a year) yields those hourly rates.

        1. Maybe in a place with a high locality pay (which corresponds to cost of living) you get 20 an hour but I certainly don’t make that much in Ft Myers.

  11. If all the congresspeople & senators had to stand in the regular, slow, crazy lines….. we’d see improvement! If they get vip service (even if they paid for tsa-pre) then nothing will change!

  12. What’s the right budget level, if more than $7.5 billion isn’t enough?

    And if they can’t reallocate among their ~ 60k (not 40k) staff to get 300 more people screening on the front lines, do you really think the problem is lack of hiring authority?

    TSA time spent per passenger through the checkpoint has gone up, it’s not just a function of more passengers.

    Sending TSA screeners to Glynco, Georgia for training for 2 weeks, rather than training locally, together with other recent changes has increased the time to get a screener working from 6 to 13 weeks.

    Meanwhile, TSA awarded contracts to private companies to get PreCheck signups boosted. But the only company already approved, Morpho, is suing to dispute the award (even though they will be one of the contract recipients) in order to maintain their monopoly status as long as possible.

    It’s not a lack of people or budgets here.

  13. What about the private companies that perform screening like at SFO? Can that program be expanded?

    I could see the airlines opting their hubs out of the TSA and into the private system.

      1. I disagree Nicholas. Private companies do the screening faster, cheaper, and perform better. Flying out of SFO you can see a difference. Also, private companies are accountable; if there are problems at TSA we throw up our hands and say government at work.

        1. Faster and better maybe. Cheaper I highly doubt. Not only do they have to cover the cost of the actual work, but they also have to make about that same amount in profit.

          1. Andy –

            Having worked for a government contractor years ago, private companies are cheaper (even those there is a profit incentive). The big difference is in staffing and scheduling. When is the last time a federal employee was fired? Private companies can move quickly. Would a private company have a staffing shortage for TSA agents? Heck no. They are getting paid by the body. Also, there is NO customer service requirement for federal agency, a private company is accountable.

        2. Jeff2, I just asked a question. I didn’t make any value judgement about the private system such as the one at SFO vs the TSA government employee staffed system, so I’m not sure what you have to disagree with.

        3. Is it faster out of SFO because the screeners are more efficient or because the checkpoints are more decentralized than some other airports of similar size?

    1. If an airport goes private they are still required to have TSA staff at the management level, and are still required to follow all TSA guidelines (we all know some places cut corners, but if caught cutting corners the punishment is still the same). The differences between private and TSA staffed is the employees… a TSA employee stars at about $14/hr plus excellent benefits, retirement, ability to transfer throughout the country, and earning federal service years that can be added to military service or other federal service… a private employee does all the same work starting at $9-10/hr with “comparable health benefits” (which are not equal)……. so going private is basically just a way to bitch slap employees

  14. I’m someone who’s never paid for nor signed anything to get into Pre-Check. Yet, my UA tickets, for any and all classes, show Pre Check on them and I always use Pre Check. Any problems with that?

    For security purposes, should anyone be asking and verifying:

    1. “Why are you taking this flight?” If the question is asked, by whom–the airline? TSA? or, anyone? Is there any need to have the answer verified? Should there be a charge to the passenger for all of this? If so, who should set the price?

    2. “Are you travelling on this flight with any carry-on bags, or any checked bags, containing a gun, loaded or not, or anything else that could be considered a weapon, or with a bomb, or any type of explosive?” If the questions are asked, by whom–the airline? TSA? or anyone? Is there any need to have the answers verified. Should there be a charge to the passenger for all of this? If so, who should set the price?

    3. “Are you planning to be disruptive or otherwise do harm to a member of the crew or a fellow passenger on this flight?” If the question is asked, by whom–the airline? TSA? Anyone? Should the answers be verified? Any charge to the passenger for the asking and verifying? Any charge to the passenger? Price set by whom?

    Do we still have any privacy when we fly? Should the airline or the government care why I am taking any flight?

    Guns? Anywhere, anyplace, anytime, by anyone (3-yr-olds) some say?

    Disruption fears? Maybe give everyone something as they board so they can defend themselves in the friendly skies? Or a kiosk where you can buy private protection service from a moonlighting sky marshal?

    As usual, questions, questions and no answers!

  15. You are so clear and So Right On. Theater best describes the whole process. I fly over 100,000 a year. Still love TSA pre-check especially now that they don’t funnel so many others through those lines. Thanks for your constant insights.

  16. ‘Clear’ is brilliant but it’s not at every airport. Pre-check in some larger cities can be a longer line to get through than the standard (SFO in particular). But so long as ‘Clear’ can stay in business that’s the one for me.

  17. Brett,

    I am with Bruce Scheneier. There are TWO (and ONLY two) things that have made air travel safer since 9/11: (1) Passengers’ unwillingness to let themselves be hijacked and (2) armored cockpit doors. Perhaps one could argue increased intelligence on terrorist groups, but enough of that happens behind the scenes that few people without security clearances could make a solid argument.

    Banning boxcutters is fine, but when the GAO comes out with studies every year that show that 90+% of guns/knives/bombs don’t get caught by TSA screening, the screening by itself has to get lucky to catch anything of true malicious intent. Even if it were 100% effective at catching weapons, a piece of broken glass (think: pre-scored “priceless antique glass vase”) can be a decent knife, and for every pilot or F/A that the public sees, there are many more people working on the ramp and behind that scenes at airports making only minimum wage to middle class wages…

    Brett, I don’t think you went far enough in connecting “security theater” and the budget constraints. I think the solution to the TSA not getting more funding for additional screeners is to make airport security theater a faster and easier activity for most. We know that realistically won’t happen (because what bureaucrat or politician is stupid enough to suggest cutting back on security, when it means they are only one bumbling terrorist away from losing their job?), but nonetheless, it is what should happen.

  18. Cranky –

    I agree with the theater comment at TSA lines. Also, the backdoor of the airport is wide open. So many fuel trucks, food service truck, cleaning personnel and other ramp agents get onto the tarmac without going through any scanning it would be easy to slip one by the goalie.

    – JC

  19. TSA does NOT need to hire more people. They need to simplify security procedures and cut out the theater. Shoes only removed if they have metal, put most people through the metal detector and use the body scanners only if an anomaly is detected, and get rid of the stupid liquids rules. That right there would probably fix the staffing problem.

  20. Denver has recently had major problems with staffing in the mid to late morning and late afternoons, lines can snake down to baggage claim because of it. And the rules regarding Shoes, and laptops seem not to be the same at every airport, Denver makes you take off your shoes and put them through XRay along with your laptop, while RSW Says you can leave your shoes on, and they only swab your lap top. Indy will also allow you to leave your shoes on.

  21. Cranky, do you know if the non-TSA airports are having this issue too (SFO, MCI, Montana). I know Atlanta has threaten to go private, would that actually help?

    1. Daniel – I don’t know for sure. But I would imagine everyone is likely experiencing the issue. A place like SFO, for example, has seen a huge increase in traffic over the last few years. I’d be amazed if budgets have allowed enough staffing, even if it is privatized.

      1. CF, I think there is a lack of understanding of how the privatized security works. I know the TSA oversees it, but how is it paid for?

        Is it paid completely through the TSA budget? Or do the security ticket fees get reserved for a fund for the specific airport that then is used to pay for the private security? Or something else entirely?

        Sent from my computer that moonlights as a phone.

  22. This whole issue is particularly troubling after Brussels – since it looks like one of the explosions in the airport was aimed at the security checkpoint.

  23. mmm, even worse on Brussels. Since the attacks were pre-security, now I bet we will have to go through TSA to get INTO the terminal and then AGAIN to get airside. They do that in lots of terrorism prone countries already.

  24. I agree this is a hiring issue. At ATL, standard waits can reach 50 minutes and in my experience, the Pre lines can still be 25+. Airlines are taking off without passengers left and right and are as frustrated as we are. Moving through the lanes is never slow- it’s just too narrow a sieve for too many people. More lanes= more staff.

    http://airport.blog.ajc.com/2016/02/19/airport-security-lines-getting-worse-hartsfield-jackson-officials-consider-privatizing-security/

  25. A huge problem is that TSA is top heavy and not regulated as to its use of staffing budgets… the US has 100 senators and 435 representatives for its approximately 320 million people, yet an airport with less than 1,000 employees has 140+ people in suits (ranging in title from assistants, managers, managers for the managers, HR, etc). Increasing the budgets will only help so much, the real help will come from the agency setting limits on non-uniformed staff, which will require more of the budget to hire screeners.

    1. Many of those suits have nothing to do with the TSA and are hired and paid by whatever local authority runs the airport.

      1. No those are TSA suits he’s taking about, my airport has a huge TSA office staff compared to number of screeners, it’s very micromanaged and toxic. The govt loves creating “coordination centers” and stuff to sound efficient and create non screening positions.

  26. The media, public, TSA, and airlines need to educate passengers on trying to encourage all passengers to check their luggage when they check in at the ticket counter. There is way too much baggage going thru the tsa lines for people to get thru to the gate. If passengers just paid the $25usd and checked a bag the lines would move so much faster. This needs to get thru to the traveling public.

  27. TSA private contractor gets a cost plus contract which means they can hire more people n come back n ask more money from tsa. Private contractors still have to follow tsa procedures n guidelines. So its just the same thing different uniform.

  28. From my experience at the airport it is 95% the passengers fault. I get behind people all the time who travel with a jumble fuck of wires and chargers and batteries and let’s not forget the asshole who doesn’t take his laptop out of the bag there by causing my bag to be stopped behind his. Then 90% of the time u hear the Tsa agents say what the fuck I can’t see threw this it is a mess. Bottom line people don’t think at a airport and don’t listen to the agents which in my experience has pissed me and everyone else of behind me cause the guy in front of us doesn’t listen and take EVERYTHING OUT OF HIS POCKETS. I would lov for tsa to be able to kick assholes to the end of the line like that so I can get threw faster. I am for a mandatory one personal item and a carry on rule for what I have seen lately at the airport and I mostly blame that one moron in line for fucking up the rest of the line which contributes to everyone else’s wait times. I would be for a ban on carry on items for certain people who don’t listen it isn’t hard to do what they say it makes it quicker to listen to them.

  29. All I can say is, we got GOES (which includes pre-check) in December. Pre-Check has only been open on about 20% of my flights. It’s ridiculous. They act like it’s fine because you can still keep your shoes on. And the airports seem to have different rules for pre-check pax in regular lines–some let you keep liquids in your bag, some say take laptop out, some don’t. Really frustrating. Kona last week was insane…our friends took an hour to get through regular security (only one lane open). Pre-check was closed so we had to use the regular line (got to cut to the front, though)…still took half an hour in the blazing sun. It’s not the workers’ fault, but something has to be done.

  30. Cranky I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you. The TSA doesn’t need to hire more people, it needs to actually do it’s job. Even before the capacity started to grow, the TSA failed on the majority of tests to find contraband, including firearms. The problem is, the TSA is searching for the wrong things. One person puts a weapon in their shoe and everyone has to take their shoes off. The bottom line is you are never going to have complete security. If you have complete security, then you have a police state and that seems to be what the TSA is going for. You said it yourself. If you just give over more of your information, and pay a nice fee, you can join the special club where the TSA doesn’t molest you. The TSA should be disbanded and replaced with private companies. Furthermore we need to repeal the Pat-RIOT act immediately.

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