Passenger frustration mounts as lines grow at understaffed airports

From TSA shortages to plane delays, passengers are fed up

Travelers Wait In Line At A Transportation Security

Originally Published: 28 JUN 21 17:31 ET

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The busy summer travel season is in full swing. No matter where your vacation plans take you, if you’re flying, you might want to listen up.

People are having trouble making their flights. From TSA shortages to plane delays, passengers say they’re beyond frustrated.

“I didn’t expect too many delays,” said traveler Susan Goldstein.

It’s another busy weekend at BWI and the level of frustration with passengers is high.

“I made sure I got here early. Almost two hours early,” said passenger Jay Charles.

TSA officials said as air travel skyrockets, so do the wait times to get through security. They’re struggling to find staff to keep up with the demands.

“We are seeing that people do need to get to the airport earlier we do recommend they get to the terminal 2 hours before their scheduled flight,” said Lisa Farbstein with TSA.

This comes as more delays continue at airports nationwide because of other issues like pilot shortages, flight cancellations and delays.

“We had to wait a little longer than usual,” said traveler Judi Gershenson.

“I thought oh I’ll give myself an hour and a half – I should’ve given myself like three,” said traveler Susan Meaney.

Meaney landed in Baltimore this afternoon from Denver. She said there, TSA security lines were wrapped around the building.

“Just so many people waiting to go through the screening and they just didn’t seem happy to be there,” said Meaney.

As the frustration builds up, the TSA said it’s taking new steps to make sure staff members are prepared – by training flight attendants and crews in self-defense.

So far this year they’ve gotten more than 3 thousand reports of unruly passengers, that’s up from only 146 in all of 2019.

“It’s disgusting,” said Gershenson

As air travel picks up, many are hoping staffing will too.

“Very very very very frustrating,” said Meaney.

Back in February, the TSA set a goal of hiring about 6,000 employees, but so far have only hired half that amount.

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