Sky Talk

No. 2: Long lines at TSA airport security checkpoints

The TSA screening line at Terminal D.
The TSA screening line at Terminal D.

Nobody likes to wait in line.

And people really don’t like it when it means they end up missing their flight.

This spring, lines at airport security checkpoints at some of the busiest airports in the U.S. had wait times over three hours. Over 70,000 American Airlines passengers missed their flights because of the long lines, the Fort Worth-based carrier said.

Wait times had gotten progressively worse in May as the TSA changed some of its screening protocols. The problem was compounded as Congress cut the number of front-line screeners by about 10 percent on the expectation that more consumers would enroll in TSA PreCheck to speed through lines.

American announced it would spend $4 million on a firm that would help move customers through checkpoints more efficiently. And then the TSA said more agents would be trained and placed at some of the busiest airports, including Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, to help during the busy summer travel season.

The TSA and American also announced a joint initiative to install new automated screening technology at DFW, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles airports. The new technology could reduce wait times by 30 percent.

At DFW, the airport expects to place ten new screening machines at five checkpoints in three different terminals. The first two upgraded checkpoints should be ready by spring break.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk