Airlines Adding People, Resources to Ease TSA Lines for Memorial Day
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#IHateTheWait–U.S. airlines are spending more than $10 million, adding staff and
resources to help travelers get through potentially long Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) lines over Memorial Day weekend, one of
the busiest periods for air travel all year. In addition to offering
tips and asking passengers to pack their patience, Airlines for America
(A4A), the trade association for the leading U.S. airlines, is
encouraging travelers to help the TSA and fellow fliers pinpoint
specific airports experiencing excessive TSA checkpoint delays by
sharing their airport code and the hashtag #IHateTheWait on Twitter and
To help travelers, A4A’s member airlines have also been working
alongside the TSA to ensure a smooth travel experience for their
passengers. These measures include:
Hiring contractors and re-assigning airline employees to assist the
TSA with non-security functions, including restocking the bins, moving
bags to secondary screening and informing passengers who are waiting
in line of the proper documents and procedures they need to get
through the security process.
Working in partnership with the TSA and airport authorities to develop
more innovative checkpoints for a smarter and faster screening process.
Promoting TSA Pre✓™
in their marketing materials, including measures by some airlines
allowing frequent fliers to use miles to pay for enrollment. Airlines
are also making space in terminals for PreCheck sign-up stations.
“The safety and security of our passengers and crew is our highest
priority, and we are committed to working with the TSA to ensure
security screening is as effective and efficient as possible,” said
Sharon Pinkerton, A4A Senior Vice President of Legislative and
Regulatory Policy. “This is the start of the busiest travel time of the
year, and we are doing everything we can to make sure our passengers can
get through security and to their flights as easily as possible.”
In 2015, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend was the fourth busiest
travel day of the entire year. Last week, A4A projected that 231 million
passengers are expected to fly in scheduled service on U.S. airlines
from June 1 – Aug. 31, an all-time high.
With a record number of passengers expected to fly this summer, A4A
believes travelers deserve better information about their expected wait
time, allowing them to prepare accordingly before leaving for the
airport. A4A encourages the TSA to make airport security wait times
publicly available so that travelers have access to reliable
information, allowing them to better prepare for their journey.
“In recent weeks, passengers at major hubs across the country have
routinely experienced TSA screening delays well in excess of the 29
minutes the Department of Transportation has set as the maximum
acceptable wait time,” said Pinkerton. “This is unacceptable, and we’d
like to see the TSA release official wait time data by airport to help
improve the travel experience for the 2.5 million airline passengers who
are expected to fly on U.S. carriers each day this summer.”
In the absence of official TSA wait times, passengers can crowd-source
information by posting on Twitter or Instagram using TSA’s social media
tools, which they can access easily at www.iHateTheWait.com.
More than 23,000 people have used the site since it went live on May 5.
Twitter has been the most popular social media platform for fliers to
share their experiences with more than 6,400 tweets posted so far.
A4A offers passengers the following tips for passengers to help reduce
for TSA’s Pre✓™: Millions of travelers are taking advantage
of TSA Pre✓™,
which typically results in faster lines and a smoother experience
going through security. Passengers considered low-risk who qualify for
the program can receive expedited screening either as a member of TSA Pre✓™or
another trusted traveler program, such as Customs and Border
Protection’s Global Entry. Apply online at: https://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck/apply.
Prepare for the line: All passengers
should allow for extra time at TSA checkpoints. Even travelers
enrolled in TSA Pre✓™
are not immune to unexpected delays. Passengers are reminded to have
their ID and boarding pass (on paper or on smartphone) ready for
inspection when they arrive at the TSA desk. Doing so will help move
the line faster for everyone.
Report long lines in real-time: When
encountering longer than usual lines, passengers should share that
information with their fellow travelers via social media. On Twitter,
post a photo of the line, your airport code and include @AskTSA and
the hashtag #IHateTheWait. Post a photo on Instagram along with your
airport code, @TSA and #IHateTheWait. Sharing information will not
only help TSA pinpoint trouble spots, it will also give other
travelers a much-appreciated heads-up about wait times. In the days
leading up to travel and in the hours before leaving for the airport,
passengers can search the hashtag #IHateTheWait along with their
airport code to see what other travelers are reporting about the
security wait times in that location.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive nearly $1.5 trillion in U.S.
economic activity and more than 11 million U.S. jobs. Airlines for
America (A4A) vigorously advocates on behalf of the American airline
industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental
responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s
economy and global competitiveness.
America needs a cohesive National Airline Policy that will support the
integral role the nation’s airlines play in connecting people and goods
globally, spur the nation’s economic growth and create more high-paying
jobs. A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor groups,
Congress and the Administration to improve air travel for everyone.
For more information about the airline industry, visit our website airlines.org and
our blog, A Better Flight Plan, at airlines.org/blog.
us on Twitter: @airlinesdotorg.
us on Facebook: facebook.com/AirlinesforAmerica.
us on Instagram: instagram.com/AirlinesforAmerica.
To learn how you can support a National Airline Policy, a better flight
plan for everyone, visit www.nationalairlinepolicy.com.
Airlines for America (A4A)
Airline Industry Public Relations and Communications
Managing Director, Government and Regulatory Communications
Senior Vice President, Communications