Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Mon May 16 2016

DHS Urges Delayed Travelers To 'Have The Appropriate Expectations'

Airlines & Airports | Transportation Security Administration | Rich Thomaselli | May 16, 2016

DHS Urges Delayed Travelers To 'Have The Appropriate Expectations'

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

At the same time Friday that he announced his department will expedite the hiring of new security guards at airports across the country, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson asked already-beleaguered travelers for more patience.

In a press conference at Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C., Johnson said overtime for current Transportation Security Administration will increase immediately, and that he expects to hire more than 700 new screeners to man ever-growing security lines.

“We've developed a plan — an aggressive plan — to deal with it and to provide continued aviation security for the American people," he said.

But with the high-density summer travel season just weeks away, Johnson also urged patience.

READ MORE: Atlanta Airport Gives TSA Ultimatum to Improve or Get Out

“There will be wait times this summer,” he said. “We encourage people to have the appropriate expectations when you arrive at airports.”

If those expectations mean hour to hour-and-a-half long waits to go through security, it’s already happening. Even the airports themselves are becoming as frustrated as the fliers, with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey threatening to dump the TSA and hire private firms to provide security officials and screeners.

U.S. Rep. John Mica (R-Florida) attended the press conference where Johnson and TSA chief Admiral Peter Neffenger spoke to the press. When Johnson and Neffenger were through speaking, Nica quickly jumped up and said the plan was “a little bit late at the gate.”

 “It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s a bureaucracy that suffers from bad management. They don’t know how to recruit. They don’t know how to train.”   


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