The 450 American Airlines passengers who missed their flights out of Chicago O'Hare International Airport Sunday because they were stuck in interminable Transportation Security Administration checkpoint lines symbolize the frustration the nation’s travelers have felt over lengthy delays.
The worse news? As the weather warms up, the lines are likely only going to get worse at airports nationwide.
"It's frustrating, we know it's frustrating for our passengers ... And it's just as frustrating for our employees," said Leslie Scott an American Airlines spokesperson
And it's not just Chicago. American Airlines says the TSA's problems have caused tens of thousands of customers to miss their flights, so far this year.
O’Hare tops American’s list of most affected airports followed by airports in Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Miami.
At the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, the assistant federal security director is government whistleblower Drew Rhoades, who says morale among screeners is at rock bottom.
A new TSA hire earns between $15 and $24 an hour depending on experience, location and whether they’re full or part time.
Since January, every hire is sent to the new TSA academy in Georgia for two weeks on intense training.
But the TSA union says 6,000 new screening officers are needed asap.
And while 200 new recruits graduate from the academy every week, 117 screeners quit each week.
Meanwhile, the airport lines grow longer.