MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota senator is trying to make your flying experience easier.
Amy Klobuchar held a press conference at MSP airport on Sunday to try and get TSA to do something about long wait lines.
Lines at Terminal 1 have been especially long since a new checkpoint opened up. It seems there aren’t enough TSA employees to fully staffthe checkpoints.
Around 5:30 Sunday morning, lines at the MSP airport were up to 63 minutes long.
“I got here three hours before my flight,” one traveler said.
That’s not a bad idea these days. A pair of Moose Lake sisters traveling to Hawaii did the same thing.
“I just can’t wait to get there. It’s just going to be much better than Minnesota,” one sister said.
But waiting is the name of the game these days. It’s a trend we’ve been seeing for weeks.
“I think it’s kind of crazy that we’ve traveled about six times in the last year here and it’s never been this long,” said one traveler waiting in line.
This is a problem Klobuchar said she’s hearing a lot about — and she’s asking the TSA to help.
“They didn’t staff this airport adequately in my mind. We are now asking them to do that,” Klobuchar said.
She said the funding is there to make more hires, but congress capped the number of staff.
“There was a reconfiguration at this airport, we need the help, our public deserves it, they’ve paid their taxes,” Klobuchar said.
This week, a TSA executive will come look at the lines for himself.
“MSP is one of the busiest airports in the county, with particularly high traffic anticipated in March,” a TSA spokesperson said. “TSA takes MSP operations very seriously and will continue to work closely with the airport and airlines to improve the passenger experience while remaining focused on the agency’s critical security mission of keeping travelers safe.”
Klobuchar also spoke with Peter Neffenger, the head of the TSA, on Sunday.
“He has agreed to come to Minnesota some time in the next few weeks, which I think is going to be very important,” Klobuchar said. “He has agreed to add another team by the end of this coming week, and then also an additional one by the end of the month.”
It may require more waiting, but the senator is hopeful things will change.“Everyone wants to be secure, but we have to have security plus efficiency, and right now they’re not delivering on that efficiency part,” Klobuchar said.