Imagine waiting in lines longer than your flight? It can happen. Just ask Jimmy and Sheri Hopper after their short flight from Las Vegas. Says Sheri, “there were only two lanes open when we got to the checkpoint. There were so many people you couldn't put your stuff in the bin. Everybody was just in this big blob trying to go back and forth."
TSA has been facing tough criticism and growing misery from travelers in lengthy lines. Videos and Twitter pics have been going viral of long lines at airports like Midway in Chicago. TSA says it doesn’t have enough agents and it’s tightening security measures.
Some airports like JFK, LaGuardia and Newark have been thinking about hiring private security agents to help out. Not LAX, which says, the lines haven't gotten as bad as other airports. TSA Spokesman Niko Mellendez in LA says since there are so many terminals agents from security checkpoints with little traffic and be sent to terminals that are much busier.
Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, says they may be short agents but they have to take the time to get the security right. Says Johnson, “recent events across the world confirm the continued need for vigilance when it comes to aviation security."
Although Johnson has said they have a plan to improve service TSA has been got a grilling from the House Oversight Committee this week and, Thursday, there was a big computer issue in Phoenix that caused more than 3000 checked bags to miss departing flights. A situation like that just makes things more complicated...
And lines… longer.
LAX officials say there are more travelers at the airport this year than last year at this time. They are asking travelers to arrive at the airport 2 hours before their scheduled BOARDING time, not DEPARTURE time. Three hours for international flights.
Meanwhile, passengers like Stacy Samuelson from Minneapolis says, “There are fewer agents. You can tell every time you travel. It's just a really long line.”
Traveler Sam Newman says, “I hope they can get more agents. I travel extensively and there are long lines.”
Meanwhile, Shari Hopper says, “It's stupid … it sucks… they should take care of it.”
Statements from LA World Airports:
'Los Angeles World Airports suggests that passengers leaving LAX on domestic flights arrive two hours before the boarding time that is listed on their ticket or boarding pass, rather than the departure time. International travelers should allow three hours before the boarding time on their ticket or boarding pass.'
“At this time, Los Angeles World Airports is not considering contracting the security-screening function at LAX. Passenger volume continues to rise month over month compared to last year’s record-breaking levels. But, we are not experiencing significant changes in wait times as other U.S. airports are reporting. LAWA has a good working relationship with TSA, and we continue to work toward improvements with the additional funding recently announced by Congress. Since we expect record numbers of travelers this summer, we advise passengers to arrive in their airline terminals at least two hours before their boarding time for a domestic flight and at least three hours before boarding time for an international flight. We strongly encourage frequent fliers to enroll in TSA Pre√, the agency’s expedited security-screening program, at www.tsa.gov.”
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