Janet Napolitano, the nation's director of Homeland Security, says airport security lines have been running nearly twice the normal amount at some airports.
She mentioned Los Angeles International and Chicago's O'Hare, but said she'd have to doublecheck which ones she's talking about specifically.
"If you're traveling, get to the airport earlier than you otherwise would," she warned. "There's only so much we can do with personnel, and please don't yell at the customs officers or the TSA officers, they are not responsible for sequester."
Hers is the latest call that sequester is going to be a nightmare for airport travelers.
But the security checkpoint woes have been hard to spot.
CBS News says it's not the airport security checkpoints that are the problem Napolitano cites, it's customs, which makes her advice particularly curious for someone in charge of the system, since people don't go through customs on the way out of town..
At John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, CBP said there were approximately 56 flights with wait times in excess of 2 hours, and 14 flights over 3 hours. Miami International Airport (MIA) reported 51 flights over 2 hours, and 4 flights approached/exceeded 3 hours. According to the CBP, those wait times are uncharacteristic and a result of reduced staffing.
"Due to sequestration, CBP reduced overtime this weekend at Ports of Entry around the country and effects are already visible," the department said in a statement. "Lanes that would have previously been open due to overtime staffing were closed, further exacerbating wait times at airports with typically longer international arrival processes."
UK's The Telegraph reports that officials at the three airports cited by Napolitano suggest everything's fine:
"We haven't had any slowdowns at all," said Marshall Lowe, a spokesman for LAX. Mr Lowe said that he had been on duty over the weekend and received no reports of unusual security delays.
DeAllous Smith, a spokesman for Hartfield-Jackson, said: "There have been no abnormally long lines at the security checkpoint nor unusual aircraft delays at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as a result of sequestration."
Their comments were echoed by Karen Pride, the director of media relations at Chicago Department of Aviation, who described operations at O'Hare as "normal" with "no unusual delays or cancellations".
If you've been traveling via airports, please report your experiences in the comments section below.
If Homeland Security has budget problems, they could solve them. They have purchased 2,700 Mine-proof Armored Assault Vehicles for roughly $670,000,000.00. They have purchased 1.6+ Billion rounds of hollow point ammunition for roughly $525,000,000.00. They just ordered several thousand "personal defense weapons" at a cost of roughly $380,000,000,00. Why does homeland security need 2,700 armored tanks? Why do they need 1.6 Billion rounds of ammunition that the military can't even use as per Geneva Convention? What are they doing with thousands of new "personal defense weapons"? If Homeland Security is having trouble funding the TSA, Customs, and ICE, then they need to explain their expenditures in other areas of their presence.
Typical fear mongering lies from Napolitano and DHS to justify the unemployable TSA misfits who molest 3 year old girls and steal from our bags. The UK telegraph and Minnesota Public Radio both reported that both O’Hare and LAX airports stated that there were no security delays today, again exposing Napolitano as the liar she has proven to be in the past.
So what if the lines are three hours instead of two? The TSA apologists can apply Napolitano’s advice to those who object to their groping policies, “if you don’t like it, don’t fly”.
Maybe if DHS stopped buying billions of rounds of ammunition and 2,700 tanks to be used on inner city citizens they’d have a budget surplus and could reduce their budget.
DHS needs to be severely downsized and TSA replaced with local police to handle airport security. By putting trained local law enforcement professionals in charge of airport security, service will improve, costs lowered and the crime rate from baggage and checkpoint theft greatly reduced.
The President is using terror tactics to get what he wants. This proves that the Administration bargained in bad faith over budget compromises.
There was a story I caught during the CBS News last evening that mentioned the airports where control towers are shutting down completely. Made me think of your post from last week.
A good place to watch for airport delays is http://www.myAirportStatus.com