Posted by: SWL | March 24, 2013

My Experience with Post-Sequestration TSA

My spouse and I just returned from a trip to Alaska. We took this same trip in 2011 and 2012. I observed no change this year in the number of TSA personnel on duty or wait times in security lines.

The closet airport for departure is Reno-Tahoe. There was only one TSA agent checking IDs and boarding passes at the entrance to the security area, which created a bit of a back-up. But there was an abundance of agents in the luggage screening area, so the initial slow-down was more a poor distribution of employees than any shortage of agents from sequestration furloughs.

When we left, the airport was still working on a new, centralized security area that has been under construction since last summer. When we returned, all the equipment had been removed from the old security areas and the new area was in use. I would expect this change to create longer wait times, since all passengers will be screened in one place instead of the previous two checkpoints.

In Seattle and Anchorage we did not leave the secure area. We did walk past the exit of one checkpoint in Seattle that was closed, but has always been in use on four previous stops at SEA-TAC. But we have no idea if that is a result of sequestration, a consolidation similar to Reno’s or some other reason. At both airports we saw TSA agents walking the concourses.

So, at least where I travel, sequestration has not created the horrible security delays predicted by President Obama.



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