Airports Scramble To Address Long Security Lines
The tail of an American Airlines aircraft sits on a Phoenix runway on May 24, 2016 in New York City. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has come under renewed criticism from government officials and the general public following an escalation of wait times at security screenings at domestic airports as the summer travel season begins. Kelly Hoggan, the Transportation Security Administration's head of security operations, has been put on paid administrative leave pending reassignment.  Spencer Platt—Getty Images

70,000 People Have Missed American Airlines Flights Due to Long Lines at Airport So Far This Year

Updated: May 26, 2016 10:13 AM ET

Airport screening delays have caused more than 70,000 American Airlines customers and 40,000 checked bags to miss their flights this year, an executive for the airline told a U.S. congressional subcommittee on Thursday.

A shortage of staff and a surge in air travelers have created a nightmare scenario for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with airport wait times in places like Chicago stretching beyond two hours.

While TSA is taking steps to shorten lines such as hiring more full-time officers, it lacks the staffing to handle peak travel times this summer, Administrator Peter Neffenger said on Wednesday.

American, the world's largest airline, wants TSA to create a senior internal role focused on traveler concerns, said American Airlines Group Inc Senior Vice President for Customer Experience Kerry Philipovitch. The request comes days after Neffenger shook up TSA's management, removing the head of security operations, Kelly Hoggan.

Philipovitch also recommended that TSA consider reinstating a risk-based screening program that it canceled last year because of high-profile lapses.

In the program, officers trained to detect irregular behavior would pull unsuspicious travelers randomly into "PreCheck" lanes that can process people faster, as they do not remove their shoes and other belongings.

TSA has projected it will screen 740 million people at U.S. airports this year, some 15% more than in 2013 despite a 12% cut in its staff.

MONEY may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions