TSA Wait times online

Old Aug 7, 07, 11:25 pm
  #1  
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TSA Wait times online

Do any of the wait times that the TSA lists on its own website seem to be accurate? In my experience it looks like they're just putting random numbers there. For example, it says the average wait at JFK T2 (DL Elite/F/J ONLY) is 22 minutes on a Thursday afternoon?? I've never waited more than 3 minutes then.
To the TSA employees on this board, do you know how they compile these statistics? Or is it just truly random numbers the TSA is publishing and trying to pass it off as a "customer service inititive" (their words).
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Old Aug 7, 07, 11:27 pm
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Originally Posted by DL4EVR View Post
Do any of the wait times that the TSA lists on its own website seem to be accurate? In my experience it looks like they're just putting random numbers there. For example, it says the average wait at JFK T2 (DL Elite/F/J ONLY) is 22 minutes on a Thursday afternoon?? I've never waited more than 3 minutes then.
To the TSA employees on this board, do you know how they compile these statistics? Or is it just truly random numbers the TSA is publishing and trying to pass it off as a "customer service inititive" (their words).
Bart mentioned awhile back that they'll give time stamped cards to people in line to see how far they get. Some checkpoints are less scrupulous and manipulate that data.

Honestly, I've always thought the wait times were often underreported.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 12:14 am
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I'm just convinced it's random. Superguy, a few days ago didn't you say your wife had to wait over an hour at BWI? I can't find any evidence of that on the TSA website!
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Old Aug 8, 07, 12:24 am
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Originally Posted by DL4EVR View Post
I'm just convinced it's random. Superguy, a few days ago didn't you say your wife had to wait over an hour at BWI? I can't find any evidence of that on the TSA website!
Well, that would be exwife. It was me that waited 30 minutes in a short line. I'd have been screwed if it was any longer. I have had long waits at BWI, especially in the D gates at BWI though.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 2:54 am
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If the numbers are too low, then they assume we don't need as many employees as we have... So we're told to make sure we have wait times over a certain amount of time filled in. Which is pointless, because when we have 2 or 3 people, even a small flight can take a little while to screen because we actually have to hold up screening while some goes and performs a hand wand or a bag search... The TSA has a one size fits all approach to staffing that does not take unique airport needs into account. We have an airport with two small terminals... probably have about 2000 passengers a day total. We could probably handle that with a single checkpoint with 5 or 6 screeners open all day... Instead it's divided into two checkpoints that really need 4 people each, to deal with the rushes... but are otherwise slow...

Likewise, manpower is determined by equipment as well, so we have an extra x-ray machine hooked up at the checkpoint that is never used.

Despite all this, we generally run a checkpoint with 3 people. So yeah...

Last edited by n5667; Aug 8, 07 at 2:59 am
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Old Aug 8, 07, 7:54 am
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About three weeks ago in DEN, I saw a stack of yellow cards at a table sitting right next to the free baggies. Those cards basically ask for people to take one and get it stamped to help the TSA in measuring wait times.

Problem was, this stack was at a table at the head of the line.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by DL4EVR View Post
I'm just convinced it's random. Superguy, a few days ago didn't you say your wife had to wait over an hour at BWI? I can't find any evidence of that on the TSA website!
That was me.

And I've been at BWI when they handed the card to someone in the middle of the line instead of the end, and instructed them to hold on to it and turn it in when they got to the ID checker (note that you can still have a 10 minute wait at Pier C after passing the ID checker).

So, yes, it's subject to manipulation.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by n5667 View Post
If the numbers are too low, then they assume we don't need as many employees as we have... So we're told to make sure we have wait times over a certain amount of time filled in. Which is pointless, because when we have 2 or 3 people, even a small flight can take a little while to screen because we actually have to hold up screening while some goes and performs a hand wand or a bag search... The TSA has a one size fits all approach to staffing that does not take unique airport needs into account. We have an airport with two small terminals... probably have about 2000 passengers a day total. We could probably handle that with a single checkpoint with 5 or 6 screeners open all day... Instead it's divided into two checkpoints that really need 4 people each, to deal with the rushes... but are otherwise slow...

Likewise, manpower is determined by equipment as well, so we have an extra x-ray machine hooked up at the checkpoint that is never used.

Despite all this, we generally run a checkpoint with 3 people. So yeah...
That explains why there might only be 2 or 3 checkpoints open during rushes ...
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Old Aug 8, 07, 5:22 pm
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Given that these lines can change quickly, why would it matter what a website said? If it says a 1 minute wait and you get there and it changed, then you'd miss your flight and be complaining about the TSA. Given that you're this incensed by this, perhaps you might want to fly a little more and get some status so you can avoid the lineups that are causing you such agony. If you're not elite already, then you really don't fly enough to have this be an issue.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by thegeneral View Post
Given that these lines can change quickly, why would it matter what a website said? If it says a 1 minute wait and you get there and it changed, then you'd miss your flight and be complaining about the TSA. Given that you're this incensed by this, perhaps you might want to fly a little more and get some status so you can avoid the lineups that are causing you such agony. If you're not elite already, then you really don't fly enough to have this be an issue.
If you took a few seconds to actually read my first post, I was specifically talking about a terminal which is dedicated solely to elite, first and business class pax...and if you read undernearth my name, you'd see that I AM an elite at Delta!! Nonetheless, there are some airports (such as PBI, also listed under my name) where elite status doesn't matter, because there are no elite lines at all! In cases such as these, the 100,000 mile a year PM/MM/EP/FC still has to stand behind the once a year traveler who's bringing his entire life with him on the plane in a Wal Mart shopping bag!!
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Old Aug 8, 07, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by thegeneral View Post
Given that these lines can change quickly, why would it matter what a website said? If it says a 1 minute wait and you get there and it changed, then you'd miss your flight and be complaining about the TSA. Given that you're this incensed by this, perhaps you might want to fly a little more and get some status so you can avoid the lineups that are causing you such agony. If you're not elite already, then you really don't fly enough to have this be an issue.
Reasonable people understand that. What isn't reasonable and seeing an average wait time of 10 minutes during peak periods and then having to wait an hour in line. And like DL4EVER said, not all airports have elite lines. BWI doesn't have an elite line in the D concourse, and that's just one example.

The average wait times gives you an idea of what you can expect on a given day. It's an estimate. It could be a little more or a little less. However, TSA KNOWS what the loads are going to be like on a given day ahead of time and can plan ahead to have enough people there. Then again, you may run into a terminal that only has 2 lines open for rush hour, then opens more as the rush subsides.

The more I read your posts, the more I'm convinced you just half read posts and troll based on what you perceive (which is that everyone's a whiner) than what is actually said.
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