After years of passenger suffering in hours-long queues at airport security checkpoints, the airlines are finally speaking up for their customers.
American Airlines fired the first shot last week when they blamed the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for unacceptable airport delays.
Now more airlines are joining the chorus of criticism against TSA for security delays plaguing airports across the country.
“The lines at TSA checkpoints nationwide have become unacceptable,” said Ross Feinstein, an American Airlines spokesman.
“We all want security at airports, but TSA has an obligation to be properly staffed to handle the traffic. Currently, they are well understaffed, and there doesn’t seem to be any plans in place to address the shortage.”
Did you miss your flight? You aren’t alone
The Chicago Tribune reported that 1,000 American Airlines passengers missed flights at O’Hare International Airport in March because of long security lines.
American says 6,800 of their customers missed their flights during spring break this year due to long TSA lines.
Also, the director of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport threatened to replace TSA personnel with private security contractors, as did Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Is this any way to run an airport?
Between airline delays and nonexistent services, flying can seem like the modern day version of maritime steerage.
And what’s made things worse are the long lines of rumpled and beaten-down travelers at security checkpoints, dumping their change into plastic tubs and submissively shuffling along in stocking feet.
This is not merely an inconvenience but also a security risk, experts say.
Last month’s terrorist attacks in Brussels highlighted the dangers that can be wrought on an airport without an attacker even crossing through the security lines.
Even before the attack, security experts had warned about the risks of the snaking lines at checkpoints and ticket counters – known as the vulnerable “soft side” of the airport.