The threatened summer of discontent for American travelers got underway Memorial Day weekend as the understaffed Transportation Security Administration struggled to keep its security lines moving in the nation’s airports.
The backups happened at most big airports and some smaller ones, particularly at the choice hours when passengers prefer to fly, and they seemed to occur most often when a particular flight was drawing hundreds of passengers to a single checkpoint.
At Chicago’s O’Hare International that was Terminal 3, surprisingly, at 7 a.m. Sunday. At Boston’s Logan International the crush at B1 came at 4:40 p.m. Saturday. The checkpoint at 4B in New York’s John F. Kennedy International was moving with painful slowness at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Crunch time came at Atlanta’s north checkpoint at 3:15 p.m. Sunday.
On a weekend known more for picnics in the park and backyard barbecues than flying to distant destinations, the long airport security lines seemed a harbinger of things to come this summer.