The Slatest

TSA Security Lines Are a Disaster and They’re Getting Longer and Everyone Is to Blame

Chicago O’Hare on Monday.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Transportation Security Administration lines have reached epic, unconscionable lengths at Chicago O’Hare this week. USA Today:

American Airlines says it rolled out cots on Sunday night because about 450 of its passengers missed their evening flights after getting stuck in long TSA queues.

“Got here two and a half hours before my flight and security took two to three (hours) to get through,” Kevin Revis, a stranded traveler, tells ABC 7 of Chicago.

And things are pretty bad nationwide as well. Bloomberg:

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Complaints filed on such topics as courtesy and processing time surged in March to the highest levels in the past year, according to the Department of Transportation’s monthly Air Travel Consumer Report released Monday.

Is it going to get any better soon? Ha ha ha, no way, LOL! The New York Times:

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“This is going to be a rough summer; there is no doubt about it,” said Gary Rasicot, who was recently appointed to a newly created position as the T.S.A.’s chief of operations. “We are probably not at the staffing level we would like to be to address the volume. This is why we are talking about people getting to the airport a little earlier than planned.”

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Who is responsible for this?

1. The TSA itself. Last summer it was reported that these dummies failed a staggering 67 of 70 tests in which undercover inspectors attempted to bring fake weapons through checkpoints. As a result the TSA has had to eliminate line-expediting procedures. (Also, as is obvious to anyone who has thought about the TSA’s rules and procedures for more than half a second, very little that it’s doing is actually making you safer. It’s also apparently quite badly managed.)

Since he’s been in charge of the Department of Homeland Security for eight years now, Barack Obama bears some of the blame for the TSA’s failures. But also, there’s …

2. Congress. The TSA is understaffed, which, again, is obvious to anyone who has waited in a 30-minute line behind a single X-ray/metal detector setup while five or six more potential lanes nearby go unused because there aren’t enough agents on duty to operate them. And Congress won’t approve the money to hire more of them. Thanks, Congress!

3. You. It’s been 15 years since 9/11, and you still don’t know the rules. You didn’t take your shoes off before you got to the X-ray machine. You didn’t get your laptop out of your bag, and you didn’t put it into a separate tray. You didn’t empty your pockets before you went through the scanner. And you’re trying to bring your personal handguns, in record numbers, onto planes. In 2016! You.

Shape up, everyone.

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