TSA Airport Security Lines

Photo credit: Leslie Harvey / Frequent Flyer TravelingMom

If you fly often, you’ve probably done it: unknowingly taken a prohibited item through airport security without a TSA agent saying a word. When you later discover your illicit Swiss Army knife or water bottle, it makes you pause. If TSA can’t spot the relatively innocuous objects, how many more dangerous items does TSA miss?

The latest answer came out yesterday in a recent internal investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security. ABCNews broke the story of the investigation, which showed that TSA missed 95% of the mock explosives and weapons that Homeland Security testers smuggled through airport checkpoints nationwide.

To be fair, the Homeland Security investigators are insiders who are intimately familiar with weak spots in the airport security system and are best prepared to exploit them. But a 95% failure rate has shocked not only the usual TSA critics but also governing officials and the general flying public. The current acting TSA director has already been reassigned in the wake of the news of the investigation.


This report raises the usual questions about the value of the Transportation Security Administration. Is TSA worth its $7 billion price tag? How can we build a more effective security system without adding to the extraordinarily high cost? With the busy summer travel season ahead, will reports of these failures deter the flying public or will it be business as usual?

While the dust settles from the news this report as the summer travel season gets underway, expect airport security to be tighter than ever. Special Need TravelingMom Karin Sheets noticed that TSA lines were much longer than usual at her local airport during her travels this morning. Plan for a little extra time, consider getting TSA Precheck, or follow these seven tips to shortcut airport security lines.

What is your reaction to the TSA report?  Does it make you concerned about the safety of air travel?  Will it affect your family’s air travel plans?