American Airlines puts $4 million toward cutting TSA lines

Long airport security lines
A line of travelers waits at a TSA security checkpoint at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on May 16.
(Associated Press)

American Airlines is so fed up with the long airport security lines that it is putting up its own money to tackle the problem.

Security lines have been growing, according to the Transportation Security Administration, because the number of screening officers has dropped — caused by a high turnover rate — while the number of air travelers in the U.S. has increased.

Airlines and other travel promoters worry that the security lines will scare off vacationers during the peak summer travel season.

To help deal with the situation, Robert Isom, American’s chief operating officer, issued a letter to employees saying the Fort Worth-based airline is spending $4 million for contract workers who can reduce wait times by performing “non-screening functions like bin running and queue management so that TSA officers can focus solely on screening and security aspects of their jobs.”


He added that the long lines are “unacceptable to all of us, and the federal government can, and should, do better.”

Delta Air Lines also announced plans earlier this month to provide staff to support TSA screeners, but did not estimate how much money the carrier is investing in the effort.

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May 23, 11 a.m.: This article has been updated to include a description of what Delta Air Lines is doing to help TSA officers shorten the airport screening lines.

This article was originally published on May 21 at 9 a.m.


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