What You Need to Know About Those Long TSA Security Lines

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A recent apology from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may fall on deaf ears this summer as airline passengers face growing security lines -- and frustration -- at airports.

TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger apologized to air travelers on Tuesday for the hours-long lines in Chicago responsible for leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at the city's airports overnight.

What happened? What can air travelers expect this summer? What is being done to shorten the lines and get passengers on their flights on time? ABC News breaks it down.

TSA: 'I Don't Know What That Was'

On Tuesday, Neffenger apologized for the extensive delays at Chicago's two major airports: O'Hare and Midway.

According to ABC-owned station WLS, about 450 American Airlines passengers scheduled to fly out of O’Hare International Airport Sunday night didn’t make it to the gate in time for their flights. Some said they waited two to three hours to get through the security checkpoints.

“We had a significant challenge in Chicago yesterday. I don’t know what that was. We’re fixing that,” Administrator Neffenger said during an event in in Houston. “I do apologize to the people who found themselves stranded in Chicago yesterday.”

He added: "We’ve got a team out there right now trying to figure out what the root cause of that were. We are not seeing that kind of problem throughout the system."

The hashtag #IHateTheWait is gaining traction on social media, but public security officials are unwilling to sacrifice safety for convenience.

“We want to keep passengers moving, but we want to keep passengers safe,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. “That is our primary obligation.”

Airline Spokesperson: 'We Are Concerned About What the Summer May Bring'

Airlines for America, an airline industry trade organization, announced this morning that the June 1 to Aug. 31 travel period could see a record number of people taking to the skies, and thus passing through TSA security this summer.

Nearly 10 million more passengers are expected to fly in scheduled service on U.S. airlines during this time frame -- a fact unlikely to give comfort to flyers faced with long lines at the airport.

An American Airlines spokesperson told ABC News, “We are concerned about what the summer may bring.”

As air travel peaks during the summer, flights are very often full, making it difficult to reschedule those who might miss flights due to the waits.

Airlines Pitching In

Airlines for America says it's stepped up to the plate to ease wait times -- by allowing frequent flier miles to be used for TSA PreCheck and deploying employees to help with non-security functions (like moving bins, divestiture) at checkpoints -- but passengers are still facing “excessive” wait times.

American Airlines has dedicated $21 million toward providing such contract staff; $4 million more than the normal annual amount, according to an internal letter obtained by ABC News.

Two U.S. senators have asked airlines to stop charging bag fees during the summer. Sen. Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sen. Markey, D-Mass., claim that the TSA has informed them that checkpoints serving airlines with bag fees see 27 percent more roller bags than those without the fees.

The TSA declined to confirm that statistic to ABC News.

The agency is urging the flying public to enroll in TSA’s PreCheck program, and it sounds like the public is listening.

More than 7,000 people signed up for the expedited security screening program this March -- almost 4,000 more than in March 2015. In fact, last week 10,000 people signed up on a single day, according to the TSA.

Airlines say they are asking the TSA to make more PreCheck appointments available and possibly even wave or reduce PreCheck fees.

Sharon Pinkerton, Airlines for America senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, said, “It has been a challenging spring with fliers waiting in lines that take more than 60 to 90 minutes to get through security.”

One thing is for sure: Summer is coming.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Labrador retriever flunks out of bomb-sniffing school for not wanting to detect bombs

Labrador retriever flunks out of bomb-sniffing school for not wanting to detect bombsRuskpp/iStock/Thinkstock(MCLEAN, Va.) -- A Labrador retriever named Lulu has flunked out of bomb-sniffing school after she displayed to her handlers that she was no longer interested in detecting bombs, according to the CIA.

"We are sad to announce that Lulu has been dropped from the program," the CIA announced in a press release Wednesday.

Lulu did not make the cut to graduate with her fellow fall 2017 puppy classmates after she began to show signs that she wasn't interested in sniffing out explosive odors a few weeks into training.

We’re sad to announce that a few weeks into training, Lulu began to show signs that she wasn’t interested in detecting explosive odors. pic.twitter.com/c6lxHPfC09

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

There are a million reasons why a dog has a bad day & our trainers must become doggy psychologists to figure out what will help pups. pic.twitter.com/iaeRpGiSUR

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017


Pups often have off days when they're training for such an important job, the CIA said. The issue -- which can often be fixed with more playtime and breaks -- is often temporary.

"After a few days, the trainers work the pup through whatever issue has arisen, and the dog is back eagerly and happily ready to continue training," the CIA said. "But for some dogs, like Lulu, it becomes clear that the issue isn’t temporary."

Lulu wasn’t interested in searching for explosives.
Even when motivated w food & play, she was clearly no longer enjoying herself. pic.twitter.com/puvhDk1tRX

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017


Lulu was no longer motivated to search for explosives and was "clearly not enjoying herself any longer" when motivated to do so with food and play.

"It's imperative that the dogs enjoy the job they’re doing," the CIA said.

Trainers made the "extremely difficult decision" to drop Lulu from the program for her physical and mental well-being, the CIA said.

Lulu's handler adopted her, so she now enjoys cushy work-free days that include playing with his children and sniffing out rabbits and squirrels in the backyard. She even has a new friend -- a fellow Labrador retriever -- to hang out with all day.

Lulu was adopted by her handler & now enjoys her days playing w his kids & a new friend, & sniffing out rabbits & squirrels in the backyard. pic.twitter.com/WOImM75P1D

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017


"We’ll miss Lulu, but this was the right decision for her," the CIA said. "We wish her all the best in her new life."

We’ll miss Lulu, but it was right decision for her & we wish her all the best in her new life!https://t.co/nPZl6YWNKb pic.twitter.com/Mbcr9C7wUY

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

Lulu's handler is still on the search for an explosive detection K-9 partner, the CIA said.

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