This past spring I moved out of my consulting role and into a role in our sales organization. One of the lessons that I’ve learned (and I believe the company I work for has been learning) is that the sooner you can communicate potential issues to your customers/constituents, the better.
If you know that there is a potential critical bug in an application, it is better to notify your customer so they can plan because if they find out about it the hard way, satisfaction will ultimately be sacrificed.
With that said, you can imagine the shock of the travelers going through Terminal C of Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, when we arrived to discover lines at the security checkpoint that resembled the lines from Six Flags Great Adventure on the 4th of July (or Disney on New Years Eve if you like). It was crazy and tempers/blood pressures were rising and the root cause of that came from the lack of communications around the fact that an entire security checkpoint in Terminal C was closed. As a result, the traffic that would have gone through that checkpoint are now distributed across the other 2 checkpoints causing (specifically on the first real work monday after the New Year’s holiday) a critical mass of people that the lines were not designed to handle.
Now, let me take the opportunity to commend the PEOPLE who work at Newark that were tasked with trying to manage this crazy situation. they did a commendable job of keeping the lines moving, however, either Airport Management or the TSA or both should be flamed for not communicating this coming construction anywhere that is easy to find (I’m assuming there is a communication somewhere, but I have been searching the Port Authority of NY/NJ website as well as the TSA website and haven’t found it yet) so that travelers can plan. Additionally, it would be prudent for them to communicate how long the construction will be going on. I had to ASK someone about the lines to find out that the situation around checkpoint closures would be going on through April. Since I will be traveling with my family several more times between now and April, that is incredibly important information that should be in a place that is easy to find.
Shame on them. As you can imagine, as I waited in the line on Monday 1/7, you can imagine I was asking how this could be and there not be ANY communication. I hope someone out there will be fixing that because the TSA security checkpoint site did not reflect the reality when I checked in on 1/7 (while I was waiting on the lightning loops line at EWR.