Long lines add to growing frustration at US airports

Long lines add to growing frustration at US airports but not at TIA
Long lines add to growing frustration at US airports but not at TIA

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A video going viral across the country illustrates a growing frustration among airline passengers.

The video is taken by a man at Chicago’s Midway airport and shows a line snaking through the airport as passengers wait to go through a security checkpoint.

“It’s ridiculous, it takes longer to stand in a line than to fly on a flight, ” said airline passenger Cathy Pritchard.

Tom Girvan is a frequent flier and says the line at the airport in Dallas was longer than he expected.

“The Dallas lines were very, very long and probably I got there at least two hours early and it looked like you need to be there even earlier,” said Girvan.

Across the country, TSA security lines are getting longer and the agency is trying to hire and train more than 700 new security officers.

In Tampa, things aren’t nearly as bad. Conde Nast reports Tampa International Airport has the shortest wait times of any major airport across the country –  averaging 11.4 minutes.

TIA Executive Director Joe Lopano attributes the short wait times to the airport design. “We have TSA spread out into 5 different areas, so that is a benefit,” said Lopano.

He also attributes the shorter wait times to his staff’s working relationship with TSA.

“TSA realizes that they are part of the overall experience. We can have great clean restrooms and great restaurants, but if you have had a bad experience at TSA, it affects your feeling about the airport,” said Lopano.

Lee Kair is the Federal Security Director for the TSA in greater Tampa Bay and says passengers can help make the lines shorter by being prepared at the security checkpoint.

Kair recommends that passengers download the TSA app “My TSA.” The app gives wait times at all airports and advises passengers what they can and cannot bring on an airplane. Regardless, Kair says there will be waits at the security checkpoints.

“Here in Tampa, you should expect to have some waits, we are still seeing some wait times between 15 and 20 minutes regularly, so make sure you are here in plenty of time to get through the checkpoint and we are going to see some additional traffic over the summer time, just not as much as what we saw over the spring break period,” said Kair.

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