More than 3000 checked bags today weren’t put on their passenger’s flights today at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport when the TSA checked baggage screening system melted down.
“The TSA in Phoenix is experiencing delays in its checked bag screening system. A backup system is in place, but checked bags are likely to be delayed reaching their destinations,” Deputy Aviation Director Julie Rodriguez said early Thursday afternoon. “The Airport is advising passengers to avoid checking luggage if possible.”
The ‘backup system’ that was in place? The cell phone lot was turned into checked baggage storage, where bags were to be checked manually (TSA says, “the alternative process is more time consuming than our automated system.”)
The airport and TSA were telling passengers that they should carry on luggage instead of checking them if they can — because many people won’t be getting their checked bags for days.
“These bags will be driven to nearby airports … screened and then flown on to their destinations,” Rodriguez said, emphasizing that the process is safe and urging travelers to “bring on what you need for the next few days.”
Yes, she said days.
The “nearby airports” that will handle the backed up baggage are in L.A. (6-hour drive), Las Vegas (5-hour drive) and San Diego (6- hour drive).
It’s a good thing the government isn’t trying to make airlines take more checked bags, to relieve pressure on the TSA’s inability to screen people efficiently. Oh wait.
(HT: Robert H.)