NEW YORK — Airlines’ efforts to help the U.S. government manage long airport security lines are not sustainable, the chief executive of American Airlines Group Inc said in an interview.
American, Delta Air Lines Inc and United Continental Holdings Inc have each added $4 million to what they typically spend on workers who stock bins at checkpoints and take care of tasks other than screening, which is handled by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
This, however, is not a solution to waits that have caused more than 70,000 of American’s customers to miss flights this year, CEO Doug Parker said Wednesday in New York.
The TSA must add enough staff to handle checkpoints on its own during peak travel times, he said. Recently, the agency has relied on airlines to handle some of its non-screening work.
The remarks underscore airlines’ concern that fewer people will book flights if lengthy airport waits continue.
“I checked into Dallas-Fort Worth on the way out here, and we have – it appeared – at least as many American Airlines employees standing out in front of security helping move the lines as there are TSA agents,” he said. “That’s neither right nor sustainable.”
Parker said a staffing shortage at the TSA, not fuller planes, has caused the crisis.
A spokesman for TSA declined to comment.
This post was excerpted from the NY Times. Full attribution and a link follows.
Efforts to Cut U.S. Airport Security Delays Not Sustainable: American Airlines CEO
Published by the NY Times on June 9, 2016, 10:12 A.M. E.D.T.
Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in New York; Editing by Andrew Hay