Minneapolis Man Sues TSA For $500 Over Missed Flight

Image courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski

For the better part of the spring, airlines, airports, and federal regulators have received the ire of consumers who say they have waited in endless security checkpoints. The back and forth between these groups and travelers has now reached another level: litigation, as one passenger has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to recoup the cost of a ticket for a flight he missed due to excessive wait times at security. 

A Minnesota man recently filed what was effectively a small claims court complaint against the Transportation Security Administration and the operators of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, alleging that the 90-minute wait time he encountered before a March flight resulted in a missed trip.

According to the lawsuit — which is now in federal court, thanks to a statute that allows for any lawsuit against a federal agency to be removed to a U.S. District Court — the man arrived at the airport two hours before departure for a flight on March 19.

“MSP and TSA have done a very poor job of getting passengers through security,” the man alleges, noting the checkpoint was operating only one body scanner for the security line.

“Due to the amount of time he spent in an airport security screening line” he missed the flight, which took off nine minutes after its scheduled time.

He then says he had to purchase a new ticket and incurred additional transportation fees totaling $506.85.

The man notes in his suit that the issues with security at the airport occurred just days after the head of the TSA Peter Neffenger visited the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, promising immediate improvements.

“The TSA failed in their promise resulting in my missing my flight eight days after this speech,” the man says.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that while the TSA declined to comment on the specific case, a spokesperson for the agency says she had never encountered a similar lawsuit in which a passenger filed suit over a missed flight.