DHS Secretary Johnson claims long lines at airport security checkpoints are 'inevitable'
All week long, airline passengers stuck in huge lines to get through airport security have been posting photos on social media that document the nightmare that TSA has visited on the traveling public.
This YouTube video taken by a passenger at an unknown aiport gives a flavor of what travelers are going to have to endure this summer (Warning: Strong language).
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will immediately increase the use of overtime and work to quickly bring in more screening officers to help alleviate long lines at airport security checkpoints, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Friday.
But Johnson warned that wait times are inevitable during the busy summer travel season.
"We encourage people to have the appropriate expectations when they arrive at airports," Johnson said at a news conference at Reagan National Airport outside Washington. "Contemplate increased wait times as you travel."
The Transportation Security Administration also will move to accelerate the hiring of 768 new security officers it had planned to bring on during 2016, Johnson said. The agency hopes to have those officers in place this summer, possibly as early as mid-June, he said.
The TSA will take other steps, including deploying more dogs to assist in screening and seeking help from airlines with "nonsecurity" work such as moving bins, Johnson said.
But the government cannot take shortcuts that could endanger security. "We want to keep passengers moving, but we want to keep passengers safe," Johnson said.
The TSA confronted a barrage of images this week from travelers documenting the hourslong checkpoint lines at U.S. airports.
"Never seen a security line this long at LaGuardia - what's going on @united and @NY_NJairports ?? #hatethewait," tweeted @LisaAkey on Friday morning.
Kym Jones waited in line for two hours Friday at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
"This line starts at the sliding departure doors by check in, zig zags through the baggage claim belts, though the lobby and finally to TSA," Jones tweeted.
She said she only made her flight because a TSA officer told her to go to the international terminal, which had a much shorter security line.
The only reason these insane lines are "inevitable" is because Jeh Johnson is the most incompetent cabinet secretary in the Obama administration. To be faced with inadequate staff levels at security checkpoints is a matter of bad management. There's no excuse or it. The effort to replace more than 5,000 TSA personnel who have left the agency wasn't. They hired less than 400 screeners.
Airports are contemplating using private security companies to stem the outrage of people who are missing their flights because no one can imagine waiting in line for 2 hours to get through security. Check out the video and social media postings for what you have to prepare for.
It's going to be a long, hot summer at America's airports.