By Justin Finch
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s the new normal in air travel, long lines at airports across the United States.
On Thursday in Phoenix, thousands of bags baked in the sun as a result of a TSA computer glitch that stopped screenings.
“I missed my plane and I was here 45 minutes to an hour before my flight,” said one passenger.
With peak summer travel approaching and TSA staffing down, New York Senator Chuck Schumer suggests, “Have a passenger screening K-9. It’s like pre-check and you don’t have to take off your coat or your belt or your shoes because they can smell explosives. ”
Over Thanksgiving, Philadelphia International rolled out a similar K9 program with success.
“They sniff around your feet and your ankles, but they won’t be too intrusive.”
Homeland Security and TSA top brass are bracing for a busy summer. That plan includes hiring more than 700 TSA officers, use additional K-9 teams to screen passengers and encourage more to sign up for TSA pre-check, that program pushes flyers faster through security.
Florida Rep. John Mica calls that plan too little, too late.
This comes as Homeland Security aims to limit carry-on bags, which are blamed on longer wait times, as flyers try to avoid those checked baggage fees.
Between the perfect storm of high travel volume, low TSA staff and just the sheer frustration of flying, the fear is we could have mega long wait times this summer.
Just last weekend in Chicago, flyers had to wait 120 minutes on average just to get to their flights, many of them missing their flights.