The TSA has been under fire lately, as the summer travel season ramps up and the insanely long security lines at airports continue to make headlines. Now, American Airlines just announced that those delays aren’t just an aggravating test of patience, they are causing a lot of people to miss their flights—over 70,000 passengers on American Airlines alone.
American Airlines has been putting the TSA in the spotlight. Earlier this month, they released a statement criticizing the government entity for not doing enough to help passengers make their flights. "The lines at TSA checkpoints nationwide have become unacceptable," said American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein. "The result: our customers are waiting in TSA lines greater than one hour."
According to the airline, almost 6,800 American Airline passengers missed their flights during the week of March 14 through March 20 because of security delays. Now, the airline has crunched the numbers and told a Congressional subcommittee that the TSA has caused 70,000 American Airlines passengers (along with 40,000 of their checked bags) to miss their flights this year. That results in countless headaches for both travelers and airline staff trying to re-book passengers on new flights.
As the agency comes under fire from airlines, airports, and passengers, the TSA is trying to assuage the concerns of Congress and travelers by shaking things up, including firing its head of security.
The TSA claims that the situation is due to a combination of being understaffed after budget cuts, and a surge in air passengers. According to Reuters, the TSA has projected it will screen 740 million people at U.S. airports this year, which is a 15 percent increase over 2013, and they will have to handle the surge with a 12 percent smaller staff. The worst airports being Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, and Philadelphia.