So here we are in week #2 of Make America Wait.
Long airport security lines at many US airports have become ridiculous and are a national problem.
Thousands have missed flights this year due to TSA wait times.
Passengers are now asked to show up three hours early for domestic flights- that could he longer than your flight!
Bread and Circus
Airports have responded by ‘sending in the clowns’ -literally, to entertain the masses and curb potential rioting. Some airports are trotting out miniature therapy ponies, clowns, music and free snacks.
||A petting zoo? No, it’s Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport’s “Miniature Therapy Horses” to reduce passenger fury.
Which begs the question, if you can afford to pay for entertainment and give away food then why not just pay for extra staff?
Drama and Theater
Then last week was political theater on Capitol Hill when the TSA chief was grilled in front of Senators for not only long lines at airports, but retaliation against workers who complain about poor treatment and even inappropriately paying one official a $90,000 bonus.
, Federal Air Marshal, told FlyersRights that TSA needs to “fire all of the bad managers, approve TSO [Transportation Security Officer] overtime, and push FREE PreCheck.”
MacLean also stressed that ‘Selective PreCheck’ needs to be brought back if it hasn’t been banned. This is where a senior screener or a manager can profile the least threatening passengers and send them to PreCheck – i.e. geriatric people, families with small kids, etc.
Maclean, a protected whistleblower, was recently defended by Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) in a contentious Congressional hearing with TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger.
Neffenger, who took over the role last summer, found himself dropped into an agency that some in Congress said needs a complete overhaul. It’s also suffered low morale problems
Q. Are the disastrous wait-times deliberate?
TSA Administrator, Peter Neffenger, says bad predictions are to blame for severe security line delays.
But TSA’s power grab of slowing down airports is one theory gaining traction – to extort Congress to fork over more money and fill screener shortages.
||Welcome to the madhouse – circus performers ‘entertain’ the crowds at San Diego International Airport.
Success? Last week Congress ‘ponied’ up $34 million more to pay TSA screeners overtime and fund nearly 800 more screeners to handle the summer travel crush.
Q. Passengers To Blame?
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson blamed passengers for having too many carry-ons and said flyers need “to be patient” as the government takes steps to get them through security faster.
This answer wasn’t too well received considering the airlines have done everything to incentivize passengers to carry on as much luggage as possible.
Just get rid of the ridiculous checked bag fees, said two US senators
, and the majority of this problem would go away.
Q. Extortion Racket?
Pay TSA $85 or they will make you miss your plane.
While the airlines are the pros at ‘calculated misery‘ and making you pay extra to be treated like a human being, TSA’s learned fast. But passengers are wondering why they should pay for TSA Precheck when it’s occasionally not staffed or closed.
The Privatization Debate
While there are some services that can be privatized, FlyersRights feels it’s not always the answer for some inherent government functions provided by the city, state or federal government. These include national security, defense forces, mail delivery, air traffic control and police/fire service.
Big budget cuts to the TSA and reduced staffing
Long waits also pose an unacceptable security risk, as passengers get packed into tight screening lines.
The terrorist attacks in Brussels highlighted the risk for airports without an attacker crossing through security lines. Even before the attack, security experts warned of the danger of lines snaking at checkpoints and ticket counters, known as the vulnerable “soft side” of the airport.