Security lines at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport have become unbearably long. Last week, passengers at the nation’s third busiest airport experienced wait times in excess of 2 1/2 hours, an AA spokesperson told the Daily Herald. American Airlines had to delay 30 flights on Sunday and provide cots for passengers that missed the last flights of the day. Last week, almost 800 people missed flights and since February there have been over 4,500 people that have missed flights at the airport. Passengers have now been advised to arrive up to three hours early for their flights.
American Airlines, who occupies the busy Terminal 3 at ORD, has decided to take matters into its own hands and hire a force of workers to assist the TSA with the screening process. The airline believes that the extra workers will speed up the process by collecting and handing out x-ray bins as well as instructing passengers to take off their shoes, remove laptops, etc. This will hopefully free up the TSA agents to focus on screening each passenger.
The problem at O’Hare is not a unique one, unfortunately. Airports all around the country are experiencing abnormally long security lines amid a cutback in TSA personnel.
Oakland International Airport have hired private security to help speed things up. Here’s a report from CBS San Francisco (via inform.com):
Despite increased air travel this year, the TSA has cut the force of screeners it employs by 10% (about 4,600 employees). There isn’t much hope for a reduction in wait times anytime soon, as experts have suggested that an additional 6,000 screeners are needed while only about 800 will be hired by next month. If you’re planning on flying at all this summer, you should sign up for TSA PreCheck right now in order to reduce the time you spend waiting in line.
You can enroll in the TSA PreCheck program HERE. Note on May 18, 2016 the TSA posted the following ALERT: Due to a significant increase in demand for TSA Pre✓®, consumers may experience longer than usual wait times at some enrollment centers and when calling the UES Call Center. Please use this website to obtain general program information, schedule an appointment or to find status if you have already enrolled.