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Port Authority Threatens to Replace TSA at New York City’s Airports

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Traveling this summer is looking like it’s going to be a nightmare for those who don’t have TSA PreCheck. The TSA is warning of longer-than-usual security checkpoint lines at airports across the country. In some cases, airlines have started speaking out against the TSA, as many of their customers are missing flights — even after having arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. When the security checkpoint lines start to get near unacceptable lengths, travelers must rely on someone to speak up for them — and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is stepping in to do just that.

The Port Authority has threatened to replace the TSA at New York’s three main airports — LaGuardia (LGA), Newark (EWR) and JFK — if the agency fails to reduce wait times for travelers. The Port Authority has sent a letter to the TSA outlining its frustrations, threatening that it will take action and potentially replace the TSA with private contractors if wait times aren’t reduced.

The change to a private contractor isn’t all that far off — San Francisco (SFO) and a number of smaller airports across the country have switched their security screening processes to government-approved private firms. While the screeners will change, the general security procedures we’ve all grown accustomed to will stay the same, as they’re government mandated. So, there’s no need to get nervous about your safety in the air when screened by non-TSA agents.

You can bypass security lines — and
You can bypass security lines — and taking off your shoes — with TSA PreCheck. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The TSA delays are due, in part, to staffing and budget problems. In an effort to curb the long waits, the TSA is encouraging people to sign up for TSA PreCheck — it even hired a third party to accelerate the application process. However, most travelers still have yet to sign up for PreCheck, causing lines to grow longer.

Airlines are also taking to the internet in an effort to influence change. The Airlines for America trade association, which includes members such as Alaska, American, JetBlue, Southwest and United, among others, launched a campaign called iHatetheWait. With it, travelers are encouraged to share their TSA security line experiences on social media to garner the attention of the TSA in an effort to let others know how long the waits are and how travelers are unsatisfied with the job the TSA is doing.

If you don’t have TSA PreCheck, now’s a great time to sign up to avoid these long wait times the next time you travel. Don’t forget there are several credit cards that offer fee credits for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck membership, such as the Amex Platinum, the Citi Prestige and the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard, among others.

What do you think of the Port Authority’s threat to drop the TSA?

H/T: Travel Pulse

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