TSA Hires New Officers, K9 Teams for Summer Season

The Transportation Security Administration is trying to avoid long lines that caused so many delays and headaches for airline passengers last summer.

With a record 234 million travelers are expected to pass through U.S. airports this summer, the TSA has hired 2,000 additional officers and 50 more K9 teams. 

But checkpoint rules remain the same, so the agency encourages travelers to do their research about what is allowed in carry-on luggage.  Doing so can help avoid confrontation with agents and fellow travelers.

“We're going to continue doing what we're supposed to do, arguing is not going to prevent us from doing our jobs, so the important thing is to do what the officers tell you and try to get there on time,” says TSA spokesperson Lucy Martinez.

The TSA also is trying out "automated screening" in some airports, meaning you can go around someone confused about taking off their shoes and belt.

“There are some passengers who don't travel all of the time and they don't necessarily know what to do, so if that passenger is in front of you and you're in an automated screening, you don't have to wait for that passenger, you can move ahead and continue going through the security screening process,” says Martinez.

Otherwise, Martinez urges frequent flyers to apply for the agency's precheck program, or any of the TSA's Trusted Traveler programs to find out what suits you best.

“If you apply for TSA Precheck, you do not have to remove your shoes, laptop, jacket or belt, so there are other ways in which you can help yourself,” she says.

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