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TSA delays getting worse at airports


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There are already news articles with anecdotal reports of people being at the airport 2.5 hours before a domestic flight and missing the flight because they were stuck at TSA.

 

Just what I saw today:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/13/aviation/tsa-long-lines-us-airports/

 

and for those who like their news a little more to the "right":

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/05/16/tsa-creates-airport-chaos-union-demands-money/

 

On one FB entry, I saw that a few airports and airlines are going to hire contractors to take over some of the "before the crossover to airside" tasks - handing out bins, "barking" to take out the Kippie bags and take off shoes - so that the TSA clerks who usually do this may be retrained and put on other duties. Sorry, but I can't remember which news agency I saw that post on.

 

IMHO, TSA has never really provided "security"; it was created to give the masses a feeling that "security" is happening. And they have the "anything for security as long as it keeps me safe" crowd to keep pacified.

Edited by slidergirl
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The issue there was with the baggage scanning equipment. Not really a TSA issue.

 

Yes, it was a TSA issue. It was the TSA baggage scanning equipment. They don't hire any better software engineers and testers than they do those clerks in the blue shirts.

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Watched a report on NBC this morning live from terminal c at Chicago O'hare where the precheck line was over an hour long at 5:30am. Regular check point was much worse. Pre-check Line wound all the way through terminal. Folks were complaining that many precheck stations were closed. Report also said 450 people missed their AA flights from O'hare Sunday night and showed pics of them sleeping on cots in terminal.

 

Best comment I heard was from someone who said they need to bring in Disney who are experts at line managing lines.

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We have an international flight out of PHX in two weeks. Looks like we'll get the two-for-one experience of long security lines and flying without our bags. Oh joy. We joke about our small "international" airport here in Tucson -- you can't fly non stop to many places (including the East Coast) but at least there are rarely any lines.

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Watched a report on NBC this morning live from terminal c at Chicago O'hare where the precheck line was over an hour long at 5:30am. Regular check point was much worse. Pre-check Line wound all the way through terminal. Folks were complaining that many precheck stations were closed. Report also said 450 people missed their AA flights from O'hare Sunday night and showed pics of them sleeping on cots in terminal.

 

Best comment I heard was from someone who said they need to bring in Disney who are experts at line managing lines.

 

SLC brought in Disney people to help train airport security how to professionally deal with the masses leaving Salt Lake back in 2002 after the Winter Olympics. We had special heightened security measures in place at the airport and all venues do to the OWG occurring just 4 months post-911. For those of us who worked certain positions at the OWG, we had Disney training, also…

 

Somehow, when I think TSA now bringing in Disney "experts" to help manage the lines, I see Goofy and Mickey in costume cruising the lines :p

Edited by slidergirl
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Thank you so much for this information. Is it really 5 months to get the card ?????

 

It can take that long however it is largely dependent upon you and your schedule.

 

When you apply, the conditional approval (CA) takes up to 6 weeks though lately it seems they've sped up the process significantly (like less than 10 business days). The interview is the limiting factor though. if you're inflexible you might have to schedule the interview for months after you get the conditional approval. If you're flexible and check the scheduling agent frequently you should be able to snag an interview time within days of getting conditional approval.

 

When my partner and i got it, it took 5 weeks for the CA, but we didn't do our interview till 2 months later just due to our schedules. However when I lost my card and had to the whole process again, I was able to snag a cancellation opening and had my interview 3 days after the CA.

 

So yes it can take months or it can be much shorter. It's very much dependent upon you. If you don't have near term travel plans then it doesn't really matter.

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Somehow, when I think TSA now bringing in Disney "experts" to help manage the lines, I see Goofy and Mickey in costume cruising the lines :p
I think that Goofy was manning the x-ray machine the last time I flew. The guy waving me through the WTMD had that silly Mickey grin - but I didn't take a good look at his ears.
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I think that Goofy was manning the x-ray machine the last time I flew. The guy waving me through the WTMD had that silly Mickey grin - but I didn't take a good look at his ears.

 

LOL

 

I saw Grumpy barking at the unknowing masses in the generic TSA line at SJU the other week: "take off your shoes, take out your electronics, take out your baggie, take off your jewelry, take off your sunglasses, take down your pants…"

 

There was some article, somewhere, in the past few weeks, about an airport that was using therapy dogs to walk the TSA lines and general airport to help "calm" passengers. Unlike TSA and USDA dogs (those cute little beagles), passengers were encouraged to pet the dogs. MSP perhaps??

Edited by slidergirl
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Well, that gives me a warm & fuzzy feeling. Let me ex-plane :confused:

 

I travel twice a month by air. Over 2 years ago I purchased the Pre-TSA for $85 to save time in security lines. But what I found was that my time in line was not shorten very much, especially now. Why? Because TSA was letting many passengers who never purchase Pre TSA to go in that line; only reason I found out was to decrease numbers in regular lines. Congress held hearings on this a year ago and found that only 1 in 8 in the Pre TSA line paid the fee.

There was a reason for this line; to pre-screen passengers prior to going through security.

 

For those who may not know the $85 or $100 was not a fee to get special treatment like paying extra at a Disney property to get in the short lines at rides. The fee is to used to perform a background check on you plus you are fingerprinted. One of the first questions you read on line about the Pre TSA is "If you have been convicted of a felony we suggest you not apply" :eek: !

 

That's why I do not feel very confident with any of our security system at airports when +80% of passengers in Pre TSA were never pre-screened; as least as of last year.

 

We did receive TSA Precheck free for our cruise in 2014. I flew 2 other times in 2014 and received it both times. However, in 2015, I received it and my husband did not. Some time after our 2015 cruise, we decided to go ahead and sign up for it.

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Part of the issue is that TSA ended its managed inclusion program back in the Fall. So those of you who were getting sent to the PreCheck line without being in the PreCheck program are now getting sent to the regular lines, which means their ability to use those fast lanes to decrease wait-times has been hampered. This was partly in response to the complaints of travelers in the program being slowed down by those less-experienced travelers who started clogging up the process. There was also concern from investigators about how people were being selected to go through the PreCheck lines (an iPad app was randomly assigning un-screened travelers to the pre-screened lines, which makes absolutely no sense from a security perspective). Coupled with some high-profile "misses" of weapons through the regular lines, and everyone is feeling the pinch of a new screening system unable to cope with the increased number of travelers, especially at busy airports.

Edited by bEwAbG
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This was not our experience.

I was inquiring because we had a 5:00 flight out after a cruise.

We arrived at the airport (FLL) between 10 and 11 (the latest we could get off the ship) and checked our bags and spent the rest of the day in a lounge at the airport.

 

If Delta let you check them that early at FLL it was either not a busy cruise day or you got really, REALLY lucky! ;)

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I have been on five flights this month. All I can say is thank goodness for TSA Pre. Lines at PHX, AUS, LAX, And MCO were outrageous. RDU was normal, I have never seen the regular line there be more than 10-15 minutes or so, and I fly there monthly.

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If they are I'm not seeing it. I've cleared security 10 times at 8 different airports in the last month and the longest I've waited in the Pre line has still been less than 5 mins. This includes some of the well reported crappy airports at busy times (ORD and MCO). On more than one occasion I have been the only person in the Pre check line.

 

I haven't flown as often as you have, but also have had good luck at LAX with either very short or quick-moving lines at Pre Check. AA at LAX has actually opened up a second Pre line, booting the priority passengers to another line.

 

Ok,

so I've read through all the post since my original question.

If I understand correctly, US Airports have now introduced a higher level of security which entails hand baggage going through scanners and laptops, kindles etc., removed from bags along with permissible liquids. Humans have to remove belts, coats, shoes and any metal objects and place them in a plastic tray which also goes through the scanner. You then pass through a body scanner, collect your belongings and move on.

If I have got this right, what is the problem? we have had this type of security for years and although at busy times it can take a little longer, we still don't ever consider checking in more than two hours before the flight, maybe a bit longer for transatlantic/long haul.

Is this really a case of American beauracracy, doing what it does best..........simply being totally inefficient!........sorry, no offence meant, but as I said in my original post, us Brits do find your immigration process just a little "quaint".

 

This has been going on for years in the US for years as well, and has become more onerous since the shoe bomber incident shortly after 9/11. It has nothing to do with immigration as it applies to everybody flying from an airport, not arriving at one. And Heathrow, for the non-EU, non-elite flyer, can be a nightmare for immigration as well. Just saying...

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Good morning,

 

Can someone clarify for me whether a TSA pre line is available for departures at LAX terminal B? I am flying out on KLM next month and don't recall one being there last year.

 

Thanks.

 

LAX doesn't have a Terminal B. They are all numbered or there is the Tom Bradley Int. Terminal or TBIT.

 

Either way KLM aren't a participating airline for TSA Pre Check.

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On May 5th went through screening in Amsterdam and Atlanta. The differences in attitude and professionalism were stringing. The screeners in Amesterdam were polite and professional. Me asked my DW to open a bag . His voice was calm and pleasant. My line in Atlanta went faily smoothly, but the line to my left featured on TSA employee yelling at and belittling passengers. It would have been called "verbal abuse" if a parent treated a youngster as this agent treated the passengers. The screeners in Atlanta were also screaming at passengers as they stood in the scan machines. Not all problems can be solved with just more money!

 

A TSA employee in Detroit last year was extremely rude to my parents (both in their 70's) - I had gotten them all ready with their passports, boarding passes, etc, but the line was long and Dad put his passport in his pocket.... get up to the desk and he hands him his boarding pass but forgets about the passport so the guy asks for it, and dad fumbles a second before handing it to him... the bratty kid smirks and says "you don't travel much do you." If we hadn't been about to go on my dad's bucket list trip to Norway I would have let him have it but I didn't want to bring on any additional attention from the screeners.... guess when they are hurting for help they can get away with behavior like that...

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LAX doesn't have a Terminal B. They are all numbered or there is the Tom Bradley Int. Terminal or TBIT.

 

Either way KLM aren't a participating airline for TSA Pre Check.

 

Yes, I meant Tom Bradley. Thanks for the reply.

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If they are I'm not seeing it. I've cleared security 10 times at 8 different airports in the last month and the longest I've waited in the Pre line has still been less than 5 mins. This includes some of the well reported crappy airports at busy times (ORD and MCO). On more than one occasion I have been the only person in the Pre check line.

 

I waited 20 minutes in Pre-Check at ORD on Sunday at 1:30 pm. They did open an additional desk right as I got up to the one that was open so it might have moved a little faster after that.

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A TSA employee in Detroit last year was extremely rude to my parents (both in their 70's) - I had gotten them all ready with their passports, boarding passes, etc, but the line was long and Dad put his passport in his pocket.... get up to the desk and he hands him his boarding pass but forgets about the passport so the guy asks for it, and dad fumbles a second before handing it to him... the bratty kid smirks and says "you don't travel much do you." If we hadn't been about to go on my dad's bucket list trip to Norway I would have let him have it but I didn't want to bring on any additional attention from the screeners.... guess when they are hurting for help they can get away with behavior like that...

 

I am sorry, and a bit angered, that your parents had to experience the nasty side of TSA. But, when they stoop to placing employment ad on pizza delivery boxes, and only has a high school diploma/GED minimum requirement, what kind of quality people do we expect them to hire???

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Wow, everyone had me all hyped up. I was going to get my wife and I Global Entry cards - started looking into the application process and found out the closest enrollment center for us is over 200 miles away. Now I'm wondering if it's worth it.

 

Since we don't fly into or out of the US (only domestic flights), the only benefit we would be looking for is expedited access through airport security, I'm now thinking all we need to apply for is the TSA precheck card.

 

So here's my question - will we still have to visit one of those same enrollment centers to complete that process (can't tell from the website)? If so, might just scrub the whole idea and walk around the airport barefoot :eek:.

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LAX doesn't have a Terminal B. They are all numbered or there is the Tom Bradley Int. Terminal or TBIT.

 

Either way KLM aren't a participating airline for TSA Pre Check.

 

There is a priority screening line that moved pretty quickly when we were there in March. I don't remember if elite FFers can use it or just BC and FC pax.

 

Wow, everyone had me all hyped up. I was going to get my wife and I Global Entry cards - started looking into the application process and found out the closest enrollment center for us is over 200 miles away. Now I'm wondering if it's worth it.

 

Since we don't fly into or out of the US (only domestic flights), the only benefit we would be looking for is expedited access through airport security, I'm now thinking all we need to apply for is the TSA precheck card.

 

So here's my question - will we still have to visit one of those same enrollment centers to complete that process (can't tell from the website)? If so, might just scrub the whole idea and walk around the airport barefoot :eek:.

 

If you aren't going to travel internationally or disembark a cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale, where they have a GE line (I'm hoping that concept will expand to other ports), apply for TSA PreCheck instead of GE. From what I hear there are more enrollment centers for that.

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Wow, everyone had me all hyped up. I was going to get my wife and I Global Entry cards - started looking into the application process and found out the closest enrollment center for us is over 200 miles away. Now I'm wondering if it's worth it.

 

Since we don't fly into or out of the US (only domestic flights), the only benefit we would be looking for is expedited access through airport security, I'm now thinking all we need to apply for is the TSA precheck card.

 

So here's my question - will we still have to visit one of those same enrollment centers to complete that process (can't tell from the website)? If so, might just scrub the whole idea and walk around the airport barefoot :eek:.

 

An in-person interview is required for PreCheck as well. If you fly domestically more than once or twice a year, I think it's definitely worth it. I was just in Buffalo this weekend, and it took me longer to walk through the stanchion ropes to get to the checkpoint than it did for me to go through the checkpoint both in Buffalo and here in DC (Reagan National). That's my typical experience so far.

 

Where Global Entry may save you even more time in the future is at cruise ports, if and when they expand to ports other than FLL. They seem to be expanding into other areas every few months, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be soon. Someone reported recently that at Port of Miami they were allowed to skip to the front of the line even though there wasn't a designated Global Entry kiosk--that may have just been a pilot program but if you have the card, it never hurts to ask.

 

Another consideration is that it's $85 for PreCheck and $100 for Global Entry, so it's really only $15 extra to be in both programs. Since you're going through the same application and in-person interview process, it seems like a no-brainer to get both at the same time. You can schedule your interview at any enrollment center in the US, so it doesn't have to be at the one that's closest to you. Some people do the interview on layovers or at their destination.

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Another consideration is that it's $85 for PreCheck and $100 for Global Entry, so it's really only $15 extra to be in both programs. Since you're going through the same application and in-person interview process, it seems like a no-brainer to get both at the same time. You can schedule your interview at any enrollment center in the US, so it doesn't have to be at the one that's closest to you. Some people do the interview on layovers or at their destination.

 

I forgot to mention that - we decided a couple of years ago that we wanted NEXUS for easier entrance to Canada. Because we live in LA, we had to go to a border city. We planned ahead and scheduled our interviews in Vancouver on the afternoon that we arrived in port from a cruise. There are NEXUS centers on both sides of the border, so travel to Canada isn't required for that.

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Wow, everyone had me all hyped up. I was going to get my wife and I Global Entry cards - started looking into the application process and found out the closest enrollment center for us is over 200 miles away. Now I'm wondering if it's worth it.

 

Since we don't fly into or out of the US (only domestic flights), the only benefit we would be looking for is expedited access through airport security, I'm now thinking all we need to apply for is the TSA precheck card.

 

So here's my question - will we still have to visit one of those same enrollment centers to complete that process (can't tell from the website)? If so, might just scrub the whole idea and walk around the airport barefoot :eek:.

 

If you want to do just the TSA PreCheck, there are many more places to do the interviews. Quite a few of the major airports have the interview spot right at the terminal. Go to this website:

https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/locator?serviceCode=11115V

and find out the closest TSA PreCheck interview site to you.

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I've been going through on PRE for several years, but on the trip I took recently the PRE got lost in the shuffle when I added EB to a Southwest flight out of Dayton, Ohio. TSA folks were plenty surly. Fair enough. I wouldn't want their job. Unless somebody can point out a logical reason for giving me a complete pat down after a body scan, then I'd say this is a good place to start in trying to move things along. What exactly are they going to find on this old lady by doing a pat down when the body scan didn't find anything? Well, they found nothing. I had nothing whatsoever on me that could have set off any kind of alarm.

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