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TSA Wants You to Help Combat Security Lines



The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is doing something about those stress-inducing security checkpoint lines.

The agency is currently recruiting thousands of security officers, canine handlers and other positions as passenger lines reach all-time highs, CNBC reported.

Nonetheless, finding the right talent won’t be without its challenges.

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“With the uptick in the U.S. economy and increases in wages and compensation packages, like most employers we have steeper competition. We work hard to sell the benefits of federal employment to try to attract folks to help with America’s travel public,” TSA director for recruitment and field operations Keith Malley told CNBC. “The TSA position is hard; we ask a lot out of those officers…we have to work aggressively so people know what they are getting into. But it is very rewarding for them. They are working to support a very important mission.”

The hiring process takes about two months and newcomers must complete a two-week mandatory training academy in Glynco, Georgia, where they learn how to interact with passengers and use X-ray machines, among other things.

“I actually think people believe we’re taught to not care…to treat them wrong, and it’s not like that,” new security officer trainee Valeria Garcia told CNBC. “We actually learn how to treat passengers with a lot of care and respect and try to connect with them. Even if it’s just for two seconds, just to make the experience a little less frightful for them.”

Last month, TSA warned that passengers could be forced to wait up to an hour or more at security checkpoints in the days leading up to and after the Fourth of July holiday. That said, the agency’s plan to add more officers and speed up the process at airports across the country is undoubtedly welcome news for air travelers.

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United Puts Financial Losses Into Shocking Perspective



With the demand for travel at an all-time low thanks to stay-at-home directives and severe travel restrictions, United Airlines on Thursday put the industry’s financial losses into a stark perspective.

According to the aviation blog The Points Guy, which had privy to view a virtual town hall held by the carrier, United is losing “over $100 million a day” due to the impact of the coronavirus global pandemic, United president Scott Kirby said.

Kirby conducted the town hall along with current CEO Oscar Munoz, who is stepping down in favor of Kirby later this year.

As The Points Guy pointed out, United cut almost 70 percent of its schedule in April with further cuts likely for May—as all airlines have. In fact, predictions going forward are dire. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said they expect airlines to lose a collective $61 billion in the second quarter of this year (April, May and June).

United said it will pursue some of the $25 billion in grants available for employee compensation from the U.S. government stimulus package, as well as consider whether to apply for some of the $25 billion in loans. But this is all uncharted territory for the industry, even after the financial devastation from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“One of the lessons from this is, our stress test from 9/11 wasn’t stressful enough,” Kirby said in reference to United’s preparations and need for cash to keep operating.

United has not decided whether to permanently retire any jets as a result of the coronavirus, according to The Points Guy.

“If we want to emerge stronger, if we want to emerge the world’s leading airline on the other side of this, we have to have flexibility,” he said.

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