American Airlines is fed up with the TSA and taking matters into its own hands

Thursday, May 19, 2016
By Paul Martin

Benjamin Zhang
May 19, 2016

Airlines have had enough of the recent chaos at airports caused by understaffed Transportation Security Administration checkpoints.

American Airlines chief operating officer Robert Isom said executives from all the major US carriers met with the head of the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security last week to air their grievances over the situation.

Isom wrote about the meeting in a letter to employees, dated May 18.

“Two words: TSA lines,” Isom wrote in the letter, “Right now those words evoke frustration from all of us, as well as our customers who continue to miss flights due to lines that are literally out the door.”

The delays — which American Airlines attributes to severe under-staffing on the part of the TSA — have been growing for months but reached new heights last weekend when passengers at Chicago’s O’Hare airport were left stranded after security lines exceeded three hours.

“We all agree that the TSA plays a vital role in protecting the traveling public and we’re not in favor of anything that jeopardizes that safety,” Isom wrote. “However, tens of thousands of customers have missed their flights and tens of thousands of checked bags have been delayed in TSA resolutions rooms due to low staffing.”

“This is unacceptable to all of us, and the federal government can, and should, do better,” he added.

$4 million more

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