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Old Jun 3, 12, 4:47 pm   #1
 
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Little Rock (LIT): Airport Director blames passengers for hour long security waits

It appears that Little Rock's (LIT) Airport Director is clueless, according to this story that we missed last week:

Associated Press (posted at therepublic dot com):
Passengers at Little Rock airport complain of lengthy waits, officials say many arrive late

First Posted: May 21, 2012 - 2:16 pm
Last Updated: May 21, 2012 - 2:17 pm


A short quote:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Passengers who don't arrive early enough for their flights are at least partially responsible for more than hour-long waits at security checkpoints, the director of Little Rock's airport said in response to traveler complaints that federal checks are causing delays.

An increase in the number of passengers and large aircraft using the airport also contribute to the congestion, said Ron Mathieu, executive director of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
The original reporting was done by Noel E. Oman at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

Arkansas Online (not a free story):
Arrive early, airport warns

Publication: Arkansas, Pages 7 on 05/21/2012


A short quote of the opening line:
The state’s largest airport continues to field passenger complaints about the congestion associated with its new and expanded screening facility, but officials from the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration say not all of the problem [emphasis added] is in the airport or its federal security screeners.
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Old Jun 3, 12, 4:59 pm   #2
 
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I don't get the logic.

If all of those people who show up less than an hour before their flights were to all suddenly show up two hours before their flights, why wouldn't the wait at the screening area be essentially the same?

While I can't speak for the Little Rock airport, I do know that it would be a waste of my time to show up at PHX T4 two hours before the last flight on WN from PHX to SNA. At no point in the past two years has it ever taken me more than 15 minutes to go from curbside drop off to bag check to the TDC and then through my pat down (I always opt out). I regularly arrive no more than 60-75 minutes before my flight and still have time to grab a soda, pop open my laptop to check mail and such and then line up for boarding.
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Old Jun 3, 12, 5:14 pm   #3
 
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LIT was my home airport from 2003-2007.

The big problem then was that for either 12 or 14 gates (don't remember specifically) there were two WTMDs. Those may or may not have been replaced with NOS devices. Don't know.
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Old Jun 3, 12, 5:19 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by PhoenixRev View Post
I don't get the logic.

If all of those people who show up less than an hour before their flights were to all suddenly show up two hours before their flights, why wouldn't the wait at the screening area be essentially the same?
Oh, exactly......the problem for TSA at LIT (and other mid-sized places like OKC) is the big bulge of 20+ flights leaving 6am-8am each morning......every airline has at least one flight to each of their hubs, so you have the maximum number of passengers all at once......as I talk with TSA, I try to make clear to them that, unlike a grocery store, you DO know how many people are coming every hour, so can staff lanes accordingly.....what would be the reasons for NOT having all lanes running 6am-8am? Perhaps wait on having a trainee screen-viewer who is only half as fast as others on duty until a slower period of the day (unlike OKC which puts a trainee on 1 of 3 lanes for Monday mornings)......perhaps stagger "break times" so a whole lane does not have to be closed during the busiest periods.....and other efficient practices which would make TSA more "stakeholder-oriented".
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Old Jun 3, 12, 5:40 pm   #5
 
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The folks at LIT seem to be very meticulous and working at a slow pace everytime I've been through there. There are 2 times a day when 5 flights depart within an hour, and those are the really slow times. A 45 minute wait does happen at times.

Similar to what I see at MCO, there's a majority of folks flying who don't fly very often, and aren't familiar with screening, and take a long time to get through. Yes, they are using NoS as the primary means of screening.
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Old Jun 3, 12, 5:54 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by peersteve View Post
Oh, exactly......the problem for TSA at LIT (and other mid-sized places like OKC) is the big bulge of 20+ flights leaving 6am-8am each morning......every airline has at least one flight to each of their hubs, so you have the maximum number of passengers all at once......as I talk with TSA, I try to make clear to them that, unlike a grocery store, you DO know how many people are coming every hour, so can staff lanes accordingly.....what would be the reasons for NOT having all lanes running 6am-8am? Perhaps wait on having a trainee screen-viewer who is only half as fast as others on duty until a slower period of the day (unlike OKC which puts a trainee on 1 of 3 lanes for Monday mornings)......perhaps stagger "break times" so a whole lane does not have to be closed during the busiest periods.....and other efficient practices which would make TSA more "stakeholder-oriented".
That's what you would do if you weren't a government mandated monopoly. The TSA doesn't care because they don't have to care.
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Old Jun 3, 12, 6:30 pm   #7
 
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That's what you would do if you weren't a government mandated monopoly. The TSA doesn't care because they don't have to care.
Exactly. The airport manager is blaming the passengers because that's all he can feasibly influence.
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Old Jun 3, 12, 6:51 pm   #8
 
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Exactly. The airport manager is blaming the passengers because that's all he can feasibly influence.


Are you sure it isn't "blame the victims"?

TSA is supposed to process passengers in a timely manner.
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Old Jun 3, 12, 8:04 pm   #9
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TSA is supposed to process passengers in a timely manner.
They're also supposed to be handling things with "integrity," "respect," "honesty," and "ethics," according to their own "mission statement."

I've yet to come across any TSA employee demonstrating any of those values at a checkpoint, either.
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Old Jun 3, 12, 9:54 pm   #10
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Are you sure it isn't "blame the victims"?

TSA is supposed to process passengers in a timely manner.
They have to stepped it up! No more waiting 10 minutes at security. Installed more metal detector. Must reduced wait time at TSA checkpoint. This mean no more waited for 10 minutes. They should have followed the specific rules. Please no more install the scanner. Get rid of it immediately. Only where those passengers can go through the metal detector and it's right choice for everyone else.
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Old Jun 4, 12, 8:53 am   #11
 
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Sure sounds like "blame the victim". Rather than acknowledge internal faults or blame the TSA, he chose to blame the passengers. But that's what you get from government agencies, politicians, and quasi-government (airport management) authorities these days....
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Old Jun 4, 12, 10:47 am   #12
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Sure sounds like "blame the victim". Rather than acknowledge internal faults or blame the TSA, he chose to blame the passengers. But that's what you get from government agencies, politicians, and quasi-government (airport management) authorities these days....
Too bad the media didn't point out to him that he's deflecting. The issue wasn't just about pax missing flights - the primary issue is why pax are waiting in line for so long. There's no way that pax arriving late are the reason the lines are an hour long - unless he expects pax to arrive three hours ahead of their flight.

His answer ('get to the airport earlier') indicates that either he sees no problem with pax waiting in line for long periods of time or he doesn't have a clue what's going on (and doesn't care).
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Old Jun 4, 12, 11:39 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
Too bad the media didn't point out to him that he's deflecting. The issue wasn't just about pax missing flights - the primary issue is why pax are waiting in line for so long. There's no way that pax arriving late are the reason the lines are an hour long - unless he expects pax to arrive three hours ahead of their flight.

His answer ('get to the airport earlier') indicates that either he sees no problem with pax waiting in line for long periods of time or he doesn't have a clue what's going on (and doesn't care).
The media tends to take the easy route and be lapdogs for the local authorities. There are very, very few true journalists any more, and even fewer investigative journalists. Editors don't care. And most media outlets have a distinct political bias.
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Old Jun 4, 12, 12:39 pm   #14
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So using this guys thought process if I overdraw my checking account it would be the fault of the bank.

Wonder how he ever became a Director of anything?
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Old Jun 4, 12, 12:40 pm   #15
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
Too bad the media didn't point out to him that he's deflecting. The issue wasn't just about pax missing flights - the primary issue is why pax are waiting in line for so long. There's no way that pax arriving late are the reason the lines are an hour long - unless he expects pax to arrive three hours ahead of their flight.

His answer ('get to the airport earlier') indicates that either he sees no problem with pax waiting in line for long periods of time or he doesn't have a clue what's going on (and doesn't care).

Can't buy a clue and doesn't care in my opinion.
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