Last night a man named Sean H posted a video of a shockingly long security line at Chicago Midway — “TSA are you f***ing kidding me?” — which was seen by over 1 million people in just a few hours.
Commentators quickly pointed out that gathering huge groups of people together outside the main security checkpoint creates a “huge security risk” and wastes everyone’s time and money.
And yesterday in Phoenix, a “screening glitch” at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix resulted in 3,000 checked bags missing flights.
Earlier this week, the TSA admitted that wait times have been getting out of hand after being called out by the Port Authority of New York.
Some cities are so frustrated, they are threatening to replace the TSA with private contractors, which are cheaper and easier to hold accountable.
So what’s going on?
Just a few hours before Sean H posted his video, the administrator of the TSA went before Congress to ask for more money. Lawmakers quickly approved the agency’s request for $34 million to hire 768 new officers and pay overtime for 42,500 officers.
The TSA said more people are flying as airfares and fuel prices drop. The agency cut staff in recent years, hoping passengers would pay $85 extra for PreCheck. Long lines make PreCheck more attractive, which boosts revenue for TSA, but not enough people have signed up.
In the meantime, passengers are taking to social media to express their outrage:
— Kelly Washam (@washamkelly) May 11, 2016
— Jennifer Bost (@TVChick16) May 7, 2016