If you thought airport security lines couldn’t get any longer, you might want to think again.
According to the New York Times, travellers can expect longer-than-usual lines at airports around the country this summer and beyond.
Lines have been building for several years now thanks to cuts in funding for the Transportation Security Administration. In the last five years, funding for the TSA decreased by 8.5%. Lower funding means that the TSA can’t afford as many employees, which is why the number of screeners has gone down by 5.5% (about 2,500 screeners).
These numbers would be bad enough on their own, but throw in the fact that the number of travellers has grown by over 15% in that same five-year period, and you’ve got a recipe for some miserably long wait times.
The reason for these budget cuts can be traced back to Congress’ effort to reduce the federal deficit.
Airport security falls under the category of discretionary spending — along with education, medical research, and more — and this year, there will be less discretionary spending than there was in 2005.
So if you’re planing on flying somewhere this summer, make sure to leave yourself some extra time — and maybe bring a good book.
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