We have previously discussed the meltdown at airports due to the latest failure of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Passengers are being asked to show up hours in advance and many are missing their flights due to endless lines. Now, thousands of bags have been lost due to a “technical problems” at TSA. The lack of any accountability for the ongoing failures at TSA is the latest evidence of the disconnect between citizens and their government.
At airports like Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina lines are now commonly three hours. It is a disgrace and, on one day, some 600 passengers missed their flights. In Chicago’s Midway airport, passengers faced a line that stretched beyond sight and beyond the time for their flights. The reaction was not pretty.
Then there is the failure of TSA computer system. More than 3,000 checked bags were lost in Phoenix on Thursday because of a problem with a screening system at Sky Harbor International Airport. TSA spokesman Nico Melendez simply said “TSA is experiencing significant, unprecedented technical issues with its computer server allowing the automated screening of checked bags for explosives.” Despite a hearing this week, TSA continues to treat its obvious incompetence like people complaining about the weather. We have become accustomed to the lowest level of performance from the TSA and other federal agencies. It is the passivity of a public that no longer views itself as having any voice or expectation in good government. We just stand in lines of hours while paying billions for substandard government services.
If TSA were a private business, it would not last a month before being forced into insolvency. However performance is not a measure applied to the government. TSA is fast becoming the ultimate example of an agency that performs at a minimal level despite billions in federal funds. The only good thing is that, while standing around in endless lines, citizens have a chance to contemplate that question.