KUSA – One of the longest security lines in recent memory at DIA was not the result of bad weather or airline miscommunication after all.
9Wants to Know had to fight to learn why the agency was so unprepared for the crowds.
Wednesday, a spokesperson for the TSA finally admitted to 9Wants to Know the massive line that developed a few days after Christmas was, in fact, the TSA's fault.
"After further investigation, TSA determined that correct staffing protocols were not followed at Denver International Airport overnight on Dec. 28-29, resulting in unusually long wait times," read a statement from a TSA spokesperson.
Initially TSA blamed weather problems in the Midwest as well as miscommunication on the part of the airlines as the reason behind a line that grew to nearly two-and-a-half hours at 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 29.
Yet the TSA's own numbers show that was simply not true. Data obtained by 9Wants to Know shows TSA's own passenger forecast for the overnight shift actually came reasonably close to the numbers the airport actually saw. Bottom line, the TSA had a fairly good idea just how many passengers would eventually come through the security checkpoint.
It wasn't until the evening shift went home at 10 p.m. on Dec. 28 that the line quickly started to grow. "Managers can extend shifts to hold over TSOs as needed for increased flight loads," read the TSA statement referring to their own officers. It appears that didn't happen.
Numerous people wrote 9NEWS that night fearful of missing their flights. It's not clear just how many passengers missed their flights because of the line.
This all happened during one of the busiest travel weeks ever at DIA. While long lines were intermittent, no other line was ever close to 2.5 hours.The average wait time on Dec. 28th was 9 minutes. The average wait time on the 29th was 21 minutes according to TSA data.
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