Local Senator Urges TSA to Use Dogs to Speed Up Airport Security

Long lines of passengers might indicate that airport security is going to the dogs, so New York's senior U.S. senator has a suggestion: Bring in more dogs.

Sen Charles Schumer on Sunday night called on the Transportation Security Administration to increase its use of canine teams to "help speed up outrageously long security lines" at airports in the New York City area.

Canine teams working with new TSA agents could allow passengers to walk through X-ray screening devices without removing shoes, belts and coats, he said.

The canine teams can cut passenger screening times by about half, according to Schumer.

One TSA test shows a dog responding immediately when she smells explosives residue. 

Anything's welcome to those waiting in line who fear they may miss their flights.

And people aren't imaging the long lines. Officials confirmed what passengers have suspected: security lines are 82 percent longer at JFK Airport. And the problem is only expected to get worse at airports nationwide this summer. 

Passenger Viqas Akhtar used to get to the airport 90 minutes early, but that's not enough with the way TSA lines are these days.

"There was just an enormous line. I was in line for probably about an hour," Akhtar said. "They've been a bit more ridiculous lately." 

"It's frustrating. As a traveler, it's definitely frustrating," Akhtar said. 

Airlines are expressing concerns over the long security lines. Industry group Airlines for America even encouraged passengers to take photos of their long security lines and post them to social media with the hashtag #IHateTheWait.

The TSA says it's already reallocating funds to bring in extra staff and canines, and the agency is asking for more funds from Congress. 

"I think it would be great," passenger JoAnne Chaudzinski said. 

"You gotta be safe, but they probably could have a few more people to make things go smoother." 

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