The Global Gateway Alliance (GGA), representing corporations, retailers and hotel chains concerned with major challenges facing the New York metropolitan region’s airports, sent a letter to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole requesting a meeting and outlining steps that the TSA can take to improve the experience of the 110 million passengers who use New York City’s area airports each year.
The GGA said that TSA has not responded to the August 9 letter thus leading to the release of the letter to the media.
In the letter, GGA offers suggestions that include the expansion of TSA PreCheck to all of the terminals at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark to help ease what GGA says are traditionally the longest wait times in the country.
GGA also urges TSA to explore the use of mobile applications to convey real time information to passengers about lines and help manage and minimize wait times.
GGA Board Chairman Joseph Sitt urged Administrator Pistole and the TSA to respond to their meeting request. “New York’s airports are some of the busiest in the world, but they are also some of the most problematic for air travelers, and TSA leads the way in passenger complaints about the airport experience” said Sitt. “We strongly request that the TSA takes the time to sit down with a business, labor, government and academia coalition that has a real stake in creating 21stCentury airports in New York.”
Stephen Sigmund, executive director of GGA, added: “We want to work with the TSA to balance an improved customer experience with safety, but we cannot move forward if the Agency responds with silence,” said Sigmund. “Right now, there is a unique recognition in the New York region of the importance of improving our airports and and an opportunity for the TSA to change perceptions of its performance. We encourage the TSA to take advantage of this opportunity.”
GGA suggestions to the TSA included:
- The TSA should implement a customer service training program for security officers at New York City area airports to help them develop a consistently customer-focused approach.
- The TSA should adopt U.S. Senator Charles Schumer’s call for mandated passenger advocates at security checkpoints, so passengers have a go-to liaison when problems arise.
- The TSA plan to expand PreCheck should start with bringing the program to all of the terminals at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark to help ease what are traditionally the longest wait times in the country.
- The TSA should open PreCheck Enrollment Centers at the New York metropolitan airports to encourage widespread participation in the program.
- The TSA should add agents to New York metropolitan airports to meet the tremendous passenger demand that comes with New York’s status as gateway to the nation and the world.
- The TSA should explore the use of mobile applications to convey information to passengers about lines and help manage and minimize wait times.
Collectively, GGA represent businesses and organizations that serve millions of customers a year, including international corporations, worldwide retailers and hotel chains.