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TSA Focuses on Efficiency: 'Repack Your Own Checked Baggage'

(SNN) - As part of a newfound focus on efficiency and customer satisfaction, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will soon be implementing new procedures for checked bags that go into an airplane's hold.

These changes, which are intended to better focus TSA resources while improving the overall customer experience, come just in time as more than 200 million passengers begin their summer travel. Most of them will be travelling with at least two pieces of heavy baggage loaded with useless crap, which they intend to check-in at the airline counter.

"Physical searches of checked baggage is a time-consuming process," says TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. "Currently, our screening officers rummage through 50,000 bags a day. Each of those bags requires at least a half hour to search because travelers pack so much crap, the bags literally explode (sorry, no pun intended) when we open them. And then they're stuck having to repack all the contents, which typically requires twice as much time as the search itself because the items just don't fit inside the bags anymore."

Faced with this daunting challenge, the TSA is addressing the problem by revamping its repacking procedure, which takes effect on July 1, 2013. Under the new changes, screening officers will no longer be repacking the contents of searched baggage but rather will throw all items into a pile on the floor of the search room. The pile will then be placed onto a baggage cart and loaded haphazardly on an aircraft, whose destination may or may not be the same as the owners of the searched items.

Upon deplaning, passengers will then be invited to climb into the hold to hunt for their belongings. Complimentary TSA garbage bags will be provided for passenger's convenience. Owners will be required to retrieve their items by the time the aircraft is refuelled for its next departure. Items not claimed within that timeframe will be donated to the Obama Foundation.

"We believe that these new procedures will allow us to become more efficient and meet passengers' expectations for customer service," says Pistole. "Passengers will be happy to know that we are continuing to treat their belongings with the utmost care while maintaining the highest level of security."

As the busy summer travel season gets underway, the TSA reminds passengers to prepare for the security check-in process before arriving at the airport. Passengers can find tips on how to pack checked baggage at Travelers may also call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 1-888-YOU-SUCK prior to traveling with any questions about security screening procedures. 

Photo by: Katy Warner - sundazed flickr photostream, Some Rights Reserved, The Sage nor this article endorsed.

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