Monday, February 14, 2011

The AIT at Detroit Metro Airport - Huge Bottleneck

I can't believe I forgot to blog about this after my previous rantings on the TSA.

So, Friday morning I flew from Detroit to Chicago.  The security line was not long at all, in terms of security lines at airports.  Maybe 40 people.  This should have taken no time to get through.  Unfortunately, the brainiacs had one AIT machine going for all of these people, who were spread out into two lines of conveyers for stuff, and merged into one line of people for the AIT.  The conveyers were moving along just fine, but the lines to get people through the AIT were keeping people from getting through to grab their stuff off the conveyer to create more space for the conveyers to keep moving.  So, the conveyers were stopped and there were probably 20 people standing and waiting to go through the AIT, all while more people were entering the security line.  It was the biggest clusterfuck I've seen yet at an airport.

So, what did they do?  They opened up the metal detector.  This was certainly the right and smart thing to do.  And people flew through that thing so fast it eliminated all of the lines and confusion.  But then they decided to randomly stop the metal detector and force people into the AIT, which created the bottleneck all over again.  Hello TSA!  The AIT takes way too long if you are only going to have one open, even for a fairly short line of people.  This machine takes probably ten times as long per person than the metal detector.  And some people still had to get a pat down after they went through it.  It was pretty unbelievable.

Luckily for me, I got to go through the metal detector.  I was seriously standing in line and thinking about how much I felt like opting out at 6:45 a.m. on a Friday morning, and was very relieved to not be put in the position to have to make that decision.  This is a pretty good roll for me. Since May, I have yet to be forced into an AIT line.   

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