Flyers Frustrated By Long Lines at Miami International Airport

Passengers encounter long security lines going through Miami airport

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Frustrated passengers tried to keep their cool at Miami International Airport Monday morning after encountering unusual delays while trying to get through security. Passengers Andreas Duffner, David Abadine, Maria Fonseca and Steve Percifield comment. (Published Monday, Mar 18, 2013)

    Frustrated passengers tried to keep their cool at Miami International Airport Monday morning after encountering unusual delays while trying to get through security.

    "The queue is pretty long," said Andreas Duffner, who was traveling from Germany to Managua, Nicaragua to see his daughter.

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    Duffner said he got through Customs fine but got halted at Checkpoint 1 of the security line, where passengers were backed up past the entry point.

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    Tempers nearly boiled over Saturday at MIA, when passengers became frustrated by long lines while trying to get through Customs.

    Most are blaming the lines on automatic spending cuts that went into effect at the beginning of the month. Signs around the airport offered explanations. As a result of federal cuts, staffing has been reduced, signs read. Airport officials tell NBC 6 Customs and Border Protection agents can't work overtime hours and therefore there is not enough staff to help passengers.

    "If it's budget cuts, it's kind of annoying that like, trying to protect our borders and then they're cutting the budget," said David Abadine, a college student trying to get back to Notre Dame in Indiana.

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    Maria Fonseca, who lives in Kendall and was traveling to Las Vegas Monday, got up at 5:30 a.m. in the hopes of avoiding long lines to catch her 11:15 a.m. flight.

    "If we're supposed to check in...for us to be safe on the planes, there should be enough people at the check points," Fonseca said. "If they don't have enough people, people are gonna miss their flights."

    Steve Percifield and 34 students missed their flight because of Customs delays at MIA when they landed from Peru Sunday night.

    "We were going through customs and the line was just insane, kinda had to ride that out. Missed our flight," Percifield said.

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    His group was supposed to be back in West Texas Sunday but now are missing exams and even a job interview.

    "We were planning on being in DFW last night," he said. "Yeah, kind of surprise night in Miami."

    Fonseca said she can do without any more surprises.

    "I hope that we make it through fast enough. I don't wanna be there for an hour. Honestly, I really don't," she said.

    As of 11 a.m., TSA officials said the security wait at MIA was 35 minutes. One officer said it's only gonna get worse.