CHICAGO (STMW) — The Transportation Security Administration acknowledged they were caught flat-footed Sunday when travelers at Midway Airport were confronted with a security line that was over a mile long.
“TSA is currently reviewing the causes of [Sunday’s] longer than usual wait times at [Midway] to prevent a similar occurrence in the future,” the TSA said in a statement released this week. “Unfortunately, some passengers experienced wait times that well exceeded 20 minutes on the morning of Nov. 30, the busiest travel day of the year.”
One of those travelers was Emma Cronin, 21, who was flying to Massachusetts.
She arrived at the airport Sunday morning an hour before her 9:50 a.m. “Getting through the lines usually takes 20 minutes,” Cronin said.
But she was floored to see a line that stretched all the way to the CTA station.
“The line continued all the way through the airport to the CTA Orange Line that goes to and from Midway,” Cronin said. “I was very nervous about missing my flight.”
Her story was just one of many, with some travelers taking to Twitter to kvetch about the security line delays.
“Alright it’s official I hate Midway Airport,” tweeted one frustrated traveler.
The wait hit its peak length between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., the Chicago Aviation Department said Sunday.
Sunday was the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving holiday, TSA officials said. One reason they were caught unprepared was because a security checkpoint was not opened early to account for the increased volume, the agency said. Officials also attributed delays to early morning staffing levels that were less than anticipated.
“The agency constantly seeks to improve the passenger experience at security checkpoints nationwide, including at Chicago Midway International Airport,” the TSA said in the statement.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)