Right now I'm travelling to South Carolina to look for my next home as we plan to move in the next few months. Flying from Philadelphia to Charlotte. Seeing as we were flying out of the F Terminal at Philadelphia, we wanted to get to the airport early enough to clear secuirty. F terminal in Philly does not have a TSA precheck lane, and with the way that the TSA has been handling passenger traffic lately, we needed to make sure there was enough time to clear security.
Our flight out was very early, my aim was to get to our destination as early as possible in order to give us time to view places to live and make a choice in time to get everything squared away before we need to return to Philly. The flight was scheduled to depart at 5:15am, a small CRJ200 aircraft, so not much time is needed to board. We arrived and parked about 2 hours prior to departure time, the bus took a long time and by the time we finally got to the terminal, we were about an hour prior to departure.
Walking into the F terminal, we turned left and walked toward security.... to be greeted by a half closed gate and no one manning the TSA checkpoint. This was only an hour before the flight, and we had to wait another 35 minutes for them to open the checkpoint. Lucky for us we were 2nd in line as the checkpoint. The point remains that the TSA stood by and refused to open the F terminal security checkpoint any earlier than 4:15am... which of course was not when they actually opened the lane.
By the time the TSA finished their morning pep talk to each other and opened up the security checkpoint, we had 25 minutes to clear security, the line was a good 30-40 people deep, and almost every one of us had to make the same flight. Everything was still off on time, but it raises the question of whether or not the TSA is helping the situation at all. Asking everyone to give them 3 hours at checkpoints is pointless if the TSA doesn't open at a time that services passengers.
I think it may be time to really reconsider the TSA and if it really is accomplishing anything.