‘Are you f**king kidding me?’: YouTube video showcases ludicrously long TSA line
The video, uploaded on Thursday, shows a man following the built-up security line, which snakes through the Illinois airport’s hallways.
“Oh guess what, it’s just getting started,” the beleaguered man says as he turns into a new corridor to continue down the queue. “Oh, we’re still at the beginning.”
When he finally reached the end over two minutes into the video, he appeared to arrive at an entrance to the airport itself.
“Are you f*cking kidding me TSA? What the f*ck?” he asks at the end.
The clip has been viewed 1.3 million times in only a day’s time, and it highlights the long-running frustration that travelers have had with the organization. Many travelers posted pictures and complaints concerning the airport’s wait times on social media, some reporting that they waited close to two hours to reach the terminal.
#TSA: Flew out of Chicago Midway Wed., took 1:45 hours to get thru security. Isn't time to stop with the shoes & belts & computers. Awful!!!— James Asher (@jimasher) May 13, 2016
While the case at Chicago Midway is out of the ordinary, screening lines routinely pile up in the airports in the New York City area, hitting a high in of 55 minutes this spring.
The TSA blames these kinds of delays on an agency-wide staff shortage.
“This is going to be a rough summer; there is no doubt about it,” Gary Rasicot, TSA chief of operations, told the New York Times. “We are probably not at the staffing level we would like to be to address the volume. This is why we are talking about people getting to the airport a little earlier than planned.”
The agency also blamed passengers who are unprepared at screening checkpoints for adding to the delays.
“The best way for travelers to help ensure a quick trip through the security screening process is to prepare, prepare, prepare,” the TSA said in a statement. “Individuals who come to the TSA checkpoint unprepared for a trip can have a negative impact on the time it takes to complete the screening process.”
These explanations might not be enough for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which issued a scathing ultimatum to the TSA, threatening to privatize the screening process.
“We can no longer tolerate the continuing inadequacy of TSA passenger screening services. The long waits are prompting complaints from passengers, terminal operators, and airlines alike,” the Port Authority’s letter stated, adding that it “is exploring the merits” of participating in private screening “to enhance flexibility in the assignments and operating hours of front line screening staff.”
A few large airports currently use private screening firms to manage security: San Francisco International Airport in California and Kansas City International Airport in Missouri have a significant amount of air travelers.
Such firms must go through a process to get approved, and must meet the same security safety standards as the TSA.