TSA pays $3 million to settle claims with passengers

(Photo courtesy TSA)

The much-maligned Transportation Security Administration (TSA) shelled out $3 million over the past five years to settle claims with passengers, USA Today reported.

The payments settled claims that TSA screeners “broke, lost or stole their luggage or items inside,” the newspaper reported after reviewing about 50,000 complaints.

The newspaper reported the busiest 30 airports in the country account for a large percent of the claims. The TSA countered that the number of claims represents only a small portion of the total number of bags its agents handle on a given day.

“TSA aggressively investigates all allegations of misconduct and, when infractions are discovered, moves swiftly to hold the offenders accountable,” USA Today quoted Bruce Anderson, a TSA spokesman, as saying. “TSA holds its security officers to the highest professional and ethical standards and has a zero-tolerance policy for theft in the workplace.”

The reports is just another in a long string of bad reports about the federal agency.

Last month, ABC News, citing a Homeland Security Inspector General report, reported TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests posed by members of the so-called Red Team. The team’s members pose as average flyers, but try to smuggle weapons past security as a test.

In May, an Office of Inspector General report emerged that revealed the TSA is not properly managing the maintenance of airport screening equipment. Without timely maintenance data for thousands of screening equipment units, TSA officials are risking the shortening of equipment life, which might force TSA agents to use other screening measures.

That could result in longer wait times and delays in passenger and baggage screening.

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