Thu, Dec 29, 2005
In Fact, Waiting Times Haven't Changed Much From Last Year
There are two ways to
take the news that the recently implemented changes to the
Transportation Security Administration's screening procedures
haven't resulted in shorter, quicker lines at the airport: you can
be upset over the fact you're likely to be in line for about five
minutes, on average... or you can thank your lucky stars it's not
even longer than that.
In a statement Tuesday, TSA officials said changes implemented
last week -- allowing some previously banned items onboard, as well
as calling for increased random searches -- didn't noticeably
affect screening times at the nation's 40 busiest airports over the
recent holiday travel period, according to CNN.
In other words, while wait times at security checkpoints haven't
decreased, as was promised when the TSA announced the change --
they didn't go up, either.
As was reported in Aero-News,
the TSA claimed prior to the changes allowing small tools and
scissors to be carried aboard in carry-on baggage, as much as 1/4
of a screener's time was spent searching for such items. The agency
claimed by allowing those items onboard, the time saved would
result in faster checkpoint times for passengers. That hasn't
During the recent holiday travel period, peak wait times of just
over 13 minutes were common, with an average wait time of about
five minutes -- almost identical to what they were in 2004,
according to the TSA.
The agency hasn't gathered figures on how many additional random
pat-down searches -- to screen for items that could potentially be
used to build an improvised explosive device -- have been performed
since the changes went into effect, according to CNN.
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