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Opinion
Adam Minter

Time to Get Rid of the TSA

The agency should set standards but leave security screening to private contractors.
It doesn't have to be this way.

It doesn't have to be this way.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

This spring, millions of Americans have learned to dread going to the airport. An unfortunate combination of surging passenger volumes and declining numbers of screeners have led to security lines that can average over an hour in length. Thousands of passengers are missing flights daily. Meanwhile, airports and airlines across the U.S. are struggling to contain passenger anger. In desperation last week, one leading U.S. airline trade group asked passengers to troll the Transportation Security Administration by tweeting photos of long lines with the hashtag #ihatethewait.

While no doubt satisfying, such stunts aren't going to speed up security checks before the upcoming summer travel rush. This problem has been years in the making. To solve it, the government may have to get the TSA out of the screening business altogether.