TSA Ramps Up Measures to Tackle Long Security Lines in Chicago

450 people missed flights Sunday after waiting hours to get through security

Posted May 18, 2016 at 11:32am

After a weekend when airport security lines stretched for hours in Chicago, the Department of Homeland Security is sending more security officers and canine teams to address shortages, Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin said.  

“They will send 58 new security officers and four additional bomb-sniffing canine teams to O’Hare immediately,” Durbin said Tuesday, recounting a conversation he had with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Some of the resources will also relieve shortages at Midway International Airport, where lines were also long last weekend , Durbin said.  

“More travelers signing up for the TSA’s PreCheck program will also help shorten the regular security lines, and I pressed Secretary Johnson to improve and expedite the enrollment process for that program,” he added.  

[Related: Schumer Pushes to Slash Airport Lines]

More than 450 people missed connecting flights at O’Hare on Sunday after spending as long as two hours waiting in security lines, according to news reports . Some ended up sleeping in the terminal.  

“I missed it, luckily. I didn’t have to face it personally, but boy I’ve seen plenty of evidence of a mess,” Durbin said in an interview.  

He said a management team from DHS was heading to the Windy City to address the situation, which was blamed on staffing shortages and air traffic that exceeded expectations.  

Contact Lesniewski at nielslesniewski@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @nielslesniewski.

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