Travel, TSA, Wait Times, and Government-Speak.

The other day, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson had a press conference to address the ongoing train-wreck that is the state of airport security lines in America. You can watch that video HERE.

The best part of watching things like this is that you can really get a sense for government speak. For example:

Secretary Johnson announced a Ten Point plan to help bring down wait times. Because if your plan doesn’t have at least TEN STEPS, then you’re doing it wrong. When one of those steps is “increase overtime” for the employees widely (and rightly) considered the most incompetent in government employ, you’re doing it wrong.

When a reporter asks if you did enough to prepare the public for the current state of security wait times, and your answer is “I’m worried about what we’re going to do going forward,” then the answer to the actual question was “No, we didn’t do enough.”

If the answer to the question of whether people will be waiting THREE HOURS in security lines this summer begins “Well I’m hoping…,” then the answer to the question is “Yes, you will be waiting.”

Oh, an if you are plugging the extra fee program (TSA Pre-Check) in order to maybe go faster, and/or you are reminding people that there is an app that can tell them exactly how long the security lines are, so they know how screwed they are before they even get to the airport, you’re not addressing the problem. I’m thinking of the words ‘lipstick’ and ‘pig’ right now.

The best part of this whole story (but not shown in this video. I need to find it.) is when TSA administrator Neffenger is at the airport, he pulls out his ID and gets into the TSA Pre-Check line, when the standard security line is all the way back to at least the end of the security corral. Tone-Def.

Every TSA employee should be required to use the standard security lanes. Every person carrying a veteran’s ID card should go through expedited screening. I would add every government employee to that list (sans TSA, of course), but since the federal government can’t manage to screen it’s own people right half the time, that might not be a good idea.

Have a great travel season, everyone!


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