Slow airline security spurs promises of fast action

Long airport lines lead to short tempers 02:34

NEW YORK -- Airport lines are getting longer -- tempers are getting shorter -- and Friday the secretary of homeland security promised action as the summer travel season approaches.

At JFK in New York, average wait times have doubled -- to more than 20 minutes.

The wait Monday at Chicago's Midway was more than 90 minutes.

Longer airport security lines could mean TSA ... 03:26

The long lines at airport checkpoints stretch from coast to coast, about as long as the line at Midway must have felt.

"We've been in this line ever since St. Louis," one man said.

Many frustrated fliers are using the hashtag #IHateTheWait to complain about the problem.

"It's terrible, look at the long lines! I've never had to do this before," one woman said.

Yesterday in Phoenix it was checked luggage that got waylaid. A glitch in TSA's automated screening process left thousands of bags sitting in a hot parking lot.

The TSA says the checkpoint delays are being caused by about an 8 percent increase in airline travel and a shortage of security officers. The agency has also intensified its screening process to more carefully monitor all passengers after a federal investigation revealed significant security vulnerabilities.

"I would not characterize it as national crisis," said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, outlining plans for hiring more agents and deploying more K-9 teams to busy airports ahead of the summer travel season.

Tens of thousands of people have missed flights during this period but Johnson claims to be focused on "what we do going forward and making sure that we are focused on this, that we are anticipating that this has both the personal attention of myself and the TSA administrator."

But Congressman John Mica, who sat on the floor of Washington's Reagan Airport to hear the briefing called the current state of affairs "a crisis."

Last week the three New York area airports joined Seattle and Atlanta in threatening to kick out the TSA and replace the agents with private screeners.

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    Kris Van Cleave is a congressional correspondent for CBS News based in Washington, D.C.