TSA Ousts Its Security Chief Over Airport Lines From Hell

By Mike Ewing in News on May 24, 2016 4:40PM

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CHICAGO, IL - MAY 16: Passengers at O'Hare International Airport wait in line to be screened at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint on May 16, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Waiting times at the checkpoints today have been reported to be as long 2 hours. The long lines have been blamed for flight delays and a large number of passengers missing flights completely. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The head of security for the TSA was removed from office this week, as unhappy travelers continue to endure long waits at airports across the country.

The head of the TSA, Peter Neffenger, announced the firing of security chief Kelly Hoggan in an internal memo obtained by news agencies. Neffenger also said a new team is overseeing screenings at O'Hare International Airport, where security lines have been particularly harrowing in recent weeks.

Hoggan faced criticism from the U.S. House Oversight Committee in May for receiving over $90,000 in bonuses and awards between 2013 and 2014. Later, a Homeland Security investigation found screeners failed to find dangerous items in more than 95 percent of covert tests.

Those failures are on top of long wait times the TSA blames on an insufficient number of screeners and an increase in the number of passengers. The agency tried to address the issue in Chicago airports earlier this month by sending a surge of screeners and resources after their long wait times made national news.

Officials also expected more flyers to seek to spend less time waiting by signing up for TSA PreCheck. A new enrollment center for the service just opened at Midway Airport. But even PreCheck lines can get long.