May 13, 2024 - News

TSA complaints at Indianapolis airport on the rise

One of the new Computed Tomography checkpoint scanners TSA debuted at IND last summer.

One of the new Computed Tomography checkpoint scanners TSA debuted at IND last summer. Photo: Courtesy of TSA

The number of people complaining as they make their way through security at Indianapolis International Airport is on the rise.

State of play: IND ranked 52nd out of 103 major airports in the country for the number of complaints per capita between January 2023 and January 2024, according to an analysis by the Data Liberation Project of gripes related to the Transportation Security Administration.

By the numbers: We logged 779 complaints for a rate of 15.41 complaints per 100,000 passengers. That's up from just 189 complaints between January 2019 and January 2020.

  • Comparatively, Newark — the airport with the most complaints — logged 6,740, or 36.19 per 100,000.
  • Charlotte, which saw the fewest gripes, reported 1,976, or 7.76 per 100,000.

Zoom in: The analysis found TSA PreCheck was the target of most of Indy's issues with 559 complaints. That was followed by customer service, screening and patdowns.

The latest: TSA made a push toward greater efficiency and traveler convenience when it introduced state-of-the-art Computed Tomography checkpoint scanners in all 14 of Indy's screening lanes last June.

  • The new scanners use 3-D imaging that no longer requires electronics and liquids to be removed from carry-on bags.

What we're watching: To see if the new scanners result in new complaints. Shortly after making their local debut, frustrations over the speed of the CT scanners began to pile up.

  • TSA acknowledged that lack of familiarity with the new tech among both travelers and staff may create slowdowns at CT scanners.

Yes, but: IND is still one of the best airports, according to various rankings.

  • Last month, IND was named the best airport in North America by Airports Council International World for the 12th consecutive year.
  • It also took the top spot in USA Today's most recent 10BEST Readers' Choice Awards ranking of best large airports in the U.S.

What's next: The TSA recently unveiled a self-service screening prototype at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas with the goal of making the security process more efficient.

  • For now, the TSA has no plans to deploy the technology at other airports.
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