clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Look at LAX Security From a TSA Worker's Perspective

LAX has spruced up a few of its terminals (with more upgrades on the way) and opened itself up to pickups from Lyft and Uber, but one of the big (but necessary) hassles of air travel persists, and that's the TSA security check line. Even those ritzy travelers utilizing the prime features of the airport's "paparazzi-proof" terminal have to go through it (though they get their own premium security check line). It's rough working the TSA line. There's an immense volume of travelers who are not psyched about waiting in line to take their shoes off and get a full-body X-ray, and there are also so many people trying to sneak guns in a carry-on. ABC7 recently got a backstage look at what the TSA has to deal with, and reveals what it's like working security at the airport.

—TSA officers at LAX screen around 36 million passengers a year, or about 100,000 travelers a day. ABC says, that makes the airport "number one" in terms of the volume of travelers that have to be checked.
—3,000 TSA workers are tasked with making sure all those passengers are good to fly.
—TSA employees switch to a new position in the screening every half hour so they can stay sharp.
—But even in a 30-minute block, one TSA worker says, "you can do 250 to 300 bags easily." Easily!
—In 2015, 2,600 guns were collected from carry-on bags by the TSA in the nation's airports. That's a 20-percent increase from 2014's total (which was a "record-setting year," says ABC.)
—In 2015, there were also 450 "illegally trafficked" pork tamales confiscated by TSA officials and later destroyed, which is more sad than scary.
—But the biggest threat isn't guns (or tamales), but explosives, which can be small and hard to find. That's part of the reason that "TSA security lines have earned a reputation as slow and mentally draining."
· Inside the Allegedly Paparazzi-Proof New Terminal at LAX [Curbed LA]

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045