KHON2: How officials are addressing Maui’s long TSA line

Like waiting in line at a theme park, that’s how travelers departing from Kahului Airport on Maui are describing the TSA lines.

Local residents said the TSA lines are the worst they’ve ever seen.

“It took us longer than one hour and 40 minutes waiting with young twin boys and it was really tough,” said Maki Kamira, an Oahu resident.

A Wailuku resident traveling to Oahu Friday waited one hour and 15 minutes in line and barely made it to the gate in time.

“It’s deceiving, because you think you’re in one line but it wraps around four times then there’s three of them inside,” said Guy Helm. “Then you’re wrapping and around and around until you finally reach the end.”

With the sun beating down, there’s been at least six cases of travelers needing medical assistance according to the Kahului Airport Manager. That has prompted the Hawaii Department of Transportation to hand out water.

“They giving out water and stuff, but it’s still hot you know what I mean. The first four lines you’re standing out in the heat and that takes about 45 minutes that you’re standing out there,” Helm said.

The HDOT is working on getting permanent shading setup to provide protection, but that could take a few weeks or up to a month.

Officials are also looking into solutions for travelers departing from Kahului Airport like staggering flight times to decrease crowds.

“We’re going to have to have more of a sit down talk story, because it seems to be where we’re bending backwards to other routes that they’re taking and I think it needs to be the reverse of that,” said Sen. Lynn DeCoite, (D) Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Lanai, and Molokai. “Maybe they should consider switching their routes or connections here to Hawaii or at least to Maui.”

Sen. Lynn DeCoite said temporary tents will be setup Saturday, but permanent solutions are needed especially for local residents that rely on flying.

“Again our infrastructure can’t take this and we have to understand that there has to be some sort of threshold that it stops,” said DeCoite.

KHON2 has reached out to TSA for comment and is waiting for a response.

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