Man who says long line at MSP made him miss his flight is suing TSA

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Hooman Nikizad says he just wants his money back.

In the lawsuit he filed, Nikizad says a long wait in the security line at the Twin Cities airport caused him to miss his flight to Los Angeles in March.

The Minneapolis man says he had to buy another ticket to L.A. and make another trip to the airport. Add in the $75 cost of filing a lawsuit, and Nikizad is asking for $506.85.

He's suing both the Transportation Security Administration, which is in charge of airport security, and the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which runs Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport.

Nikizad writes that he arrived two hours early for his 5:11 p.m. flight on March 19 but missed it after spending more than 90 minutes in the security line. He says the TSA was operating only one body scanner at the time.

TSA head promised improvements

Nikizad's frustration was fueled by assurances TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger made during a visit to the Twin Cities airport earlier in March.

Neffenger acknowledged long lines had been a problem at MSP but said improvements were in the works. "You'll see some very real improvements in the coming days," was one of the quotes Nikizad read in media coverage of the TSA head's visit.

But eight days later he missed his flight.

Nikizad filed his lawsuit in Hennepin County court in April but it was transferred to federal small claims court on Friday.

The Star Tribune reports Nikizad, 34, is a resident surgeon at the University of Minnesota. He and the TSA both declined to comment to the newspaper, though a TSA spokeswoman did say it was the first time she'd seen a lawsuit over a missed flight.

Length of lines varies

Delta, the dominant airline at MSP, has joined the TSA in working to shrink the long lines.

And judging from social media reports, there are mixed results. The photo at the top was tweeted on May 21 by a traveler who predicted he'd wind up spending more time in line than on his plane.

Five days later a different flier posted this tweet:

https://twitter.com/DessainPeter/status/735885266163007488

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