Long TSA Lines Cause 70,000 Passengers Miss Their Flights in 2016

Our site may contain affiliate links from our partners, such as American Express. Read Advertiser Disclosure policy here. Some offers may have expired or are unavailable at this time such as Delta Reserve, Platinum Delta Skymiles and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Terms Apply to Offers.

The long lines waiting to pass through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at airports isn’t just frustrating and inconvenient – it has actually caused 70,000 travelers, specifically on American Airlines, to miss their flight this year, according to a new report.


The TSA has come under intense scrutiny in recent months, as passengers, airlines and lawmakers have complained that the agency is understaffed.

Here’s more information from VICE News/Reuters:

“A shortage of staff and a surge in air travelers have created a nightmare scenario for the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with airport wait times in places like Chicago having stretched beyond two hours.

“To say customers are agitated is putting it mildly,” Kerry Philipovitch, American Airlines senior vice president for customer experience, told a subcommittee of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee on Thursday.

Those 70,000 customers account for just a fraction of the 63 million trips on scheduled flights in the first four months of the year for American, the world’s largest airline, but the number of missed trips is likely greater when including large US rivals like Delta, United, and Southwest.”

Bottom Line

The TSA crisis is real – it’s not just a story that has been exaggerated by extra media coverage. With more and more travelers choosing to fly and cheaper airfares due to lower gas prices, a two hour security line at the airport is unacceptable.

U.S. airports, along with lawmakers, should have a serious conversation about relying more on private firms to handle traveler security. The TSA has cut staff in recent years, hoping that more consumers would sign up for PreCheck, which has roughly 9 million members, while the agency was hoping some 25 million would sign up.

American Express® Gold Card
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

About Points, Miles & Martinis

Here at Points, Miles and Martinis, we love all things travel. We focus on topics relating to travel including destinations, airline, hotel, car rental and credit card reward programs. Our goal is to help people travel better. - See more at our About Us page.

Sign up for Email || Twitter || Facebook |Tips & Tricks
Hotel Offers || Airline Offers || Bank Offers || Cash Back Offers


  1. I have a TWIC card that I use every time I fly. Some of the TSA people don’t even know what this card means.
    I feel like I’ve been through so many Security checks by the government. TWIC card and for concealed carry card. I just can’t understand the problem with airports when a person with these cards we still have to go through all of these TSA checks. Security checks that you have to go through especially for the TWIC and concealed carry card is the same as it is for TSA go figure government.

  2. Jeh Johnson says, “In the face of increased air-travel volume, we will not compromise aviation security.” Yeh Jeh. At a time when the TSA only misses 67 out of 70 weapons that were smuggled through TSA security screening by the Inspector General’s operatives, you don’t need to compromise safety. It is essentially nonexistent. As stated in the article, the 70,000 figure for passengers missing flights due to TSA delays only represents American Airlines. So make that a quarter million passengers in the first 4 or 4 1/2 months of 2016. I have global entry clearance, which is supposed to include TSA pre-check. In a dozen trips, I have yet to have TSA pre-check on my boarding pass even once. Several TSA offices have failed to offer an explanation or a solution. I loved the recent picture of the Muslim TSA agent performing a hands-on search of a Catholic nun. How ironic is that? How many Catholic nuns do we know about who have hijacked airplanes? Perhaps the TSA profiler thought that the nun was actually a Muslim hijacker disguised as a nun.

  3. In other news, American provided figures in the millions for passengers missing flights due to American’s own incompetence.

    Pot meet kettle man, who is AMERICAN to do ANY talking?!?

  4. @ford

    Pretty rich for American Airlines to be complaining about delays and poor service, huh! Welcome to your customers world! R

  5. AA isn’t helping with doing away with all the smoking areas in lounges either. This seems trivial but AA has shut down its smoking lounges in places like DFW. The mayor of SLC is shutting down 6 public area smoking lounges and many other airports have done the same. I’m not a smoker but what happens when there is no place to smoke beyond security? That’s right. Those many folks with that addiction go out to the curb to smoke then go back through the TSA security points adding more people in line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *