DHS has Plans for Airport Security Lines, Urges Patience
- By Sydny Shepard
- May 16, 2016
The United States Department of Homeland Security has put a plan in motion to get airport security lines moving faster, but first they’ll need a little patience from the travelers.
DHS secretary Jeh Johnson described an “aggressive plan” to deal with the never-ending security lines at some of the country’s busiest airports during a press conference on May 13. DHS is actively hiring more than 700 new airport security screeners by June 15, maximizing security screeners’ overtime, giving federal security directors at major airports more flexibility and asking airlines and airports to help with non-security functions such as moving bins used at checkpoints.
In addition to the marketing campaigns that are focused on bringing in new hires, Johnson said he has written a letter to the 100 largest companies in the US, asking them to consider reimbursing employees for signing up for Pre-Check.
Johnson warned, however, that these initiatives would not make the lines shorter any time soon.
“There will be wait times this summer,” Johnson said during the press conference. “We encourage people to have the appropriate expectations when you arrive at airports.”
Johnson explained that part of the reason for the longer lines are changes to the screening process that are a result of damaging revelations from a 2015 DHS inspector general’s report that outlined the many banned items that were making it through the security check points. The new screening processes coupled with the downfall in TSA agents and the increase in travelers has created the longest lines ever seen at the busiest airports in the country.
Johnson told reporters at the press conference that patience from travelers is needed during this transition time as he emphasized that TSA “will not compromise aviation security” to make lines move faster.
The press conference came just in time for Twitter to erupt on Friday with hashtag #IHateTheWait. Travelers posted videos and pictures of their times waiting in line.