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Travelers Facing Long Security Lines At Airports

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Passengers at O'Hare and Midway airports these days face ling lines and very long waits, and some are missing their flights.

CBS 2 Derrick Blakley reports the long goodbye at O'Hare is getting even longer.

The wait times in security lines are longer than ever and with the summer travel crush still on the way it may get even worse.

This is an O'Hare story that grew out of a testy tweet, with Alexis Beamon asking CBS 2 what happened Sunday at O'Hare from 5 to 9 p.m. with "No reports of massive TSA failure, 90min+ passenger screening lines."

Well, what happened Sunday night was still happening today.

"I'm actually travelling for work and I was warned by my co-workers that it took 90 minutes this morning," said United passenger Varsha Shivakumar.

What's more, what happened last night has been happening for some time.

"Last time I was here, I missed my flight," said United passenger Cathy Leibrock. "I travel frequently but the lines have been this long the last couple of flights."

What's happening, says the TSA, is simply the new normal.

A TSA Chicago spokesman blamed "record travel volume," a continuing crush of passengers. The TSA has fewer personnel to deal with more passengers due to budget cuts, with almost 6,000 fewer screeners nationwide.

Still, some aren't completely buying it.

"I think the frustrating part of this is there doesn't seem to be real accountability for the TSA," said DePaul transportation expert Joe Schwieterman. "We're talking really almost a meltdown situation for airlines when we're above an hour."

And a meltdown for passengers like Will Tanzman who looks at the line and things, "I'm gonna miss my plane."

The TSA says the new guideline is: arrive two hours before a domestic flight, three hours before an international flight.

The TSA's "pre-check" program can get you through lines faster. But that costs $85 bucks and lots of passengers who fly once or twice a year just don't seem to think that think it's worth it.

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