A few of you might have read a letter printed earlier this week in the Springfield News-Leader. It was on the front page of the Voices section and bore the headline, “Flight intolerably bungled by TSA, airline, airport.”
It was a discouraging story told by airport customer Crystal Bell. She tells of her evening arrival at the airport only to find that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had closed the security check point — despite the fact that her flight had yet to leave.
Besides sending the letter to the paper, Ms. Bell also sent a copy to the airport. The day after we received it, Gary Cyr, airport director of aviation, called her and offered apologies. But in the same breath he also said, “Please know that if I had any control over this it would not have happened.”
That quote probably sums up the airport’s predicament best. As I’ve said many times in this blog, the airport is a landlord. We own the terminal and the other capital infrastructure. We rent space to the airlines. We do not, and cannot, control the way they do business. Our TSA relationship works the same way.
In the case of the closed check point (and this wasn’t the first time it had happened) there was a breakdown in communication between the airline and the TSA. While the airport does not control these two entities, we do have some influence. We’ve talked to both organizations about the problem and we’ll continue to do so.