TSA: Blame Delta For Slowdown At Fort Lauderdale Airport

Delta-LogoBOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — BocaNewsNow.com received a lengthy, somewhat rambling email from a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration following our post earlier this week on the long lines experienced at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Specifically, we wrote about the bizarre closure of the “PreCheck” line at Delta’s (NYSE: DAL) terminal (terminal 2) during a peak time. The closure resulted in near chaos, as the remaining lines nearly overflowed capacity, and porters pushed waiting passengers out of narrow lanes to maneuver wheelchairs to the front of the line, making a bad situation worse.

The TSA spokesperson who wrote BocaNewsNow.com called the story “unethical” and “unprofessional.” The spokesperson also stated that our calculation of a 30 minute wait was untrue, as surveillance video showed a wait of 17 minutes — still extremely long by modern standards (and we question the calculation.)

“The TSA Precheck lane was closed from 9:33 a.m. to 10:05 a.m.” wrote the spokesperson.  “At no point did the line reach 30 minutes as you stated.  We have pulled the CCTV and 17 minutes was the top wait time.”

The spokesperson also wrote that the TSA worked with Delta to determine when it’s okay to close the PreCheck lane. However, there are at least five Delta flights that depart from FLL in the two to three hours from the time in question, which means roughly 1000 passengers with need to be screened, many with two bags each.

By the numbers, that’s 3000 people and bags being herded into two narrow lanes with an insufficient TSA staffing presence.

Delta Airlines spokeswoman Lindsay McDuff had not responded to questions about the closure several hours after they were asked Friday.