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If you’ve taken to the air recently, then you’ve already experienced the nightmare of flying, especially if you’re leaving from a major big city airport.

And now to add insult to injury, those long lines and delays are all your fault!

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Friday asked fliers “to be patient” as the government takes steps to get them onto planes more quickly.

“Our job is to keep the American people safe,” Johnson told reporters at a news conference. “We’re not going to compromise aviation security in the face of this.”

The comments reflect a statement released earlier this week after long lines were reported at Newark, JFK and LaGuardia airport security checkpoints. When asked about those long lines, the TSA essentially blamed “you the passenger” in a press release, specifically passengers who bring too many carry-on items.

However the facts remain that the Transportation Security Administration has fewer screeners and has tightened security procedures. Meanwhile, more people are flying. Airlines and the TSA have been warning customers to arrive at the airport two hours in advance, but with summer travel season approaching even that might not be enough.

In the past three years, the TSA and Congress has cut the number of front-line screeners by 4,622 or about 10%, on expectations that an expedited screening program called Pre-Check would speed up the lines. However, not enough people enrolled for TSA to realize the anticipated efficiencies.

American Airlines spokeswoman Leslie Scott sounded off on the security issues.

“We are frustrated. We know our passengers are frustrated, and our employees are really frustrated,” she said.
Scott said, on Sunday alone, American had to delay 30 flights, and about 450 passengers missed their flights due to the security lines.

Obviously reducing screeners by 10% while adding more time in the actual screening process will no doubt add longer lines to the entire process, which has prompted some airport authorities to consider hiring their own private security firms and dump the TSA.

No doubt adding private competition would be an added benefit, in improving the entire process.

Source: NBC, CBS

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