BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The closure of a “PreCheck” lane last Wednesday at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) may have impacted at least three flights that posted departure delays.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) closed the Delta pre-check lane around 9:30 — in the midst of check-in and boarding for five flights. The remaining two lanes left open swelled to substantial waits.
The TSA, in a tersely written statement, said video surveillance showed a wait time of 17 minutes. BocaNewsNow.com believes it was closer to 30 minutes from the time a passenger entered security to the time the passenger was cleared.
Five flights on 737-900ERs and 757s suggests more than 1000 passengers, many with two bags each, resulting in 3000 people and items needing to be screened. It’s unclear why TSA chose that time close PreCheck.
The TSA, in its statement to BocaNewsNow.com, said it worked with Delta to determine the best time to close PreCheck based on the ebb and flow of passengers.
But Delta says it never told TSA to close PreCheck in the midst of a busy morning.
“Delta continues to work closely with the TSA to ensure more customers are aware of the benefits of TSA Pre✓,” wrote spokeswoman Ashley Black, “however, staffing levels and hours of operation are determined by the TSA, who administers the program.”
The Transportation Security Administration did not immediately respond.
Flights to Atlanta and Detroit on the morning in question posted delays as great as 20 minutes.
Pre-Check is an opt-in program that permits travelers to pay $85 to undergo a background check which can result in expedited airport screening. The TSA recently announced more than one million travelers are in the program which — when it works — has a dramatic effect in reducing security wait times for all travelers.