TSA sees record summer with 1/4 billion people screened

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Earn cash for ideas on quicker TSA lines

Scott Martin of United Advisors and branding expert Bruce Turkel discuss the implications of the TSA offering cash rewards for ideas to make airport lines move quicker.

More than 260 million people -- a new record -- were screened by the Transportation Security Administration during the summer and the TSA says the wait wasn't really that bad.

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According to data released by the TSA, 99.7 percent of passengers waited less than 30 minutes in "standard lanes" to get to their flight. Given that the TSA also said that it experienced nine of the top 10 busiest weeks in its history this summer, it seems like something of an accomplishment. The summer season runs from the Wednesday before Memorial Day until the Tuesday after Labor Day.

The agency also screened nearly 164 million pieces of checked baggage. No data was available on how many pieces of luggage were lost by airlines, though the travel website luggagehero.com in a preview of 2019 travel wrote: "we expect to see around 676,000 filed reports for lost, misdirected or mishandled baggage this summer."

To support the summer surge, TSA said it increased security checkpoint staff by more than 2,000 officers to meet operational demands. “The anniversary of the September 11 attacks is a regular reminder of the importance of TSA’s mission to protect the traveling public,” TSA Acting Deputy Administrator Patricia Cogswell, said in the release.

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“Despite the requirements of screening these record numbers of travelers and their belongings, our people remain dedicated to safety and security above all else.”

Up next for the TSA: The winter holiday season which starts in about 85 days.

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