Breaking the travel gridlock

The Miami Herald: Just in time for the Thanks-giving travel rush, Miami International Airport officials plan to have 36 self-service kiosks operating to accommodate U.S. and Canadian citizens traveling internationally. This is just one step of several MIA is taking to cut down the long waits that many overseas travelers must endure to enter the country.

How long is the wait? Between June 2012 and May 2013 it took more than 40,000 international passengers longer than two hours to be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers, according to a new report by the nonprofit U.S. Travel Association. In April of this year, Miami had a peak processing wait time of 4.68 hours. That’s an atrocious record, and no way to welcome visitors with money to spend here.

But blame the federal government for being chintzy, not the airport, says the travel group.

Customs and Border officials work hard, but they are “just under-resourced,” says Roger Dow, president and CEO of the travel association. The report recommends hiring 3,500 more federal CBP officers to close the national gap, among other things.

Good proposal, but with Congress gridlocked over the budget and virtually everything else, good luck with that.

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