Head of TSA to attend meeting in Chicago Friday

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CHICAGO -- It has been a very frustrating week for the nation’s air travelers.

At Chicago’s airports, long lines at security have created a nightmare. But Washington says help is on the way.

Reinforcements are already on their way in the form of another 58 security officers and four bomb-sniffing canine teams.

The transportation security administration screened 708 million passengers last year, an increase of over 40 million from the year before. Yet since 2011, funding for the agency is down nearly a quarter of a billion dollars which means fewer agents.  There were 47,000 three years ago and there’s 5,000 fewer now.

On Wednesday, aldermen make a pitch to privatize security at Chicago airports and get Washington to pay for it.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is bringing TSA chief Peter Neffenger to Chicago for a first-hand look Friday.

“We’ve got passengers that are delayed today at the airports and I want to do everything I can to take care of their problems,” Sen. Durbin said.  Dubrin sais airlines could help the situation by waiving baggage fees for the busy summer travel season.

This all comes as Chicago aldermen make a pitch to privatize security at the airports and get Washington to pay for it.

It’s something  Chicago Mayor Emanuel will undoubtedly bring up during Friday’s meeting.

“The director will be here on Friday and I have every intention of letting him know how we feel,” Mayor Emanuel said.