Onslow County NC July 21 2021— The baggage x-ray system for carry-on luggage stopped working at 4 a.m. Friday, causing dozens of passengers at Albert J. Ellis Airport in Jacksonville to miss their flights.
Director Chris White said extra TSA staff and the regional manager have been sent in to help hand-check each carry-on bag.
Aileen Lira got in line only 20 minutes before her flight and she worried she might miss it.
“It’s just super packed,” she said while standing in the checkpoint line, “I’m waiting, just missing it scares me.”
Thankfully, Robert Clemmons didn’t miss his flight, but feels for any Marines who did.
“I would be kind of upset because you get two and a half leave days a month for every month that you work in the Marine Corps,” said Clemmons, “I would be really upset if I had to waste one or two of those days that I’m only allowed so many a year to stay at an airport.”
Others arrived plenty early for their flight but had doubts about security without the scanner working.
“They can tear everything apart if they want; that’s their prerogative,” said Dan Aldridge, “The safer the better.”
NewsChannel 12 asked White if passengers should be worried about bags going through without the technology.
“Absolutely not,” he said, “The TSA are highly trained to perform these skills manually. Screening of passengers is not affected, screening of checked baggage is not affected, this is only carry-on luggage that’s affected.”
He said the equipment breaking down is extremely rare, and the new equipment has already arrived for a replacement late Friday or early Saturday.
The new system still needs to be installed, and White said if you are traveling, to make sure you get here at least two hours before your flight if possible.