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Airlines enlist social media to fight lengthy queues

May 10, 2016 Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Queues at US airport security checkpoints have become so long that airlines in America are asking passengers for help in a campaign to force the government to reduce the delays.

Airlines are now telling passengers to turn up at airports two hours early for US domestic flights. The airlines say it is not their fault and the revolt has begun.

Social media and the internet is the airlines’ weapon of choice. Airlines for America, an airline industry trade group, has launched a website called iHateTheWait.com. It invites passengers to post photos of lengthy queues on Twitter and Instagram along with the hashtag #iHateTheWait.

Queue of about 200 people at Seattle-Tacoma Airport. Twitter

Queue of about 200 people at Seattle-Tacoma Airport. Twitter

The aim is to make the US government more aware of the problem and people’s frustration with it.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has pledged to boost staffing levels and increase the use of bomb sniffing dogs. Dogs are more efficient and faster; they are also used, when necessary, to scan aircraft interiors. The TSA wants more money from the government to help shorten the queues.

TSA bomb sniffing dog at work. Fany, an explosive detection canine, performs a sweep of an aircraft.

TSA bomb sniffing dog at work. Fany, an explosive detection canine, performs a sweep of an aircraft.

Part of the problem is the huge numbers flying. About 140 million passengers (2.3 million per day) flew on US airlines during March and April compared to 136.2 million passengers in 2015 – a 63,000 passengers-per-day increase. That includes more than 17 million passengers (285,000 per day) on international flights.

A glance at #iHateTheWait on Twitter reveals that not all passengers are taking the campaign too seriously.

“Lol I want somebody to do a study showing how much of a man’s life is spent waiting for a woman to get dressed,” wrote Delano ‏@Delanomusic.

Written by Peter Needham

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