TSA Head Apologizes to Chicago for Long Lines: 'I Don't Know What That Was'

The agency is "trying to figure out what the root cause" was.

“We had a significant challenge in Chicago yesterday. I don’t know what that was. We’re fixing that,” Administrator Peter Neffenger said during an event in in Houston. “I do apologize to the people who found themselves stranded in Chicago yesterday.”

“We’ve got a team out there right now trying to figure out what the root cause of that were. We are not seeing that kind of problem throughout the system,” Neffenger said.

American Airlines told ABC News that it is deploying contractors to assist with non-screening functions, like moving bins and managing the queue, at its big hubs. But, as one airline spokesperson notes, this is a "short-term, temporary measure" that can't solve the TSA's chronic issues.

“The TSA wait times at Chicago’s airports have been unacceptable. There is no excuse for passengers to wait in line for hours,” Emanuel said in a statement. “The resources we have secured are an important step in providing needed relief for the traveling public, as well as ensuring the safety and security of our passengers.”