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Passengers wait in long security lines at Denver International Airport, December, 29,
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Passengers wait in long security lines at Denver International Airport, December, 29, 2015. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)

Denver International Airport on Tuesday continued blaming federal transportation officials for long security checkpoint lines that left frustrated passengers complaining this week.

Some travelers waited up to three hours to be screened late Monday and into Tuesday morning, but the Transportation Security Administration maintained it had no staffing issues at the airport.

TSA said it will "continue to work with airlines to adjust its staffing based upon advance notification of changes to their flight schedules."

Passengers wait in long security lines at Denver International Airport, December, 29, 2015.
Passengers wait in long security lines at Denver International Airport, December, 29, 2015. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)

"Hundreds of people are waiting for ONE TSA LINE," one woman tweeted about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. "And most of them already missed their flights because of your 'staffing.' "

TSA blamed weather in the Midwest for causing the aircraft delays, trip cancellations and rescheduled flights that prompted the checkpoint backups. The security lines eased into Tuesday evening but were still longer than normal.

"While the TSA is responsible for the operation of the security checkpoints, the airport understands the frustration and anxiety that a lengthy delay can cause passengers," Heath Montgomery, an airport spokesman, said Tuesday in a statement. "We apologize to travelers for the inconvenience."


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Montgomery said DIA has no authority over TSA and that it will continue to work with the agency on mitigating future problems.

Airport officials say travelers might want to arrive earlier than the normally suggested two hours before their flight just to ensure smooth sailing to the gate. Passenger traffic at DIA is expected to be above normal for the next two weeks because of the holidays.

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 29: Passengers wait in long security lines at Denver International Airport, December, 29, 2015. Unusually harsh weather conditions in
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 29: Passengers wait in long security lines at Denver International Airport, December, 29, 2015. Unusually harsh weather conditions in several regions nationwide are impacting flights, causing delays for departing passengers. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post) (THE DENVER POST | RJ Sangosti)

TSA said long security lines over the weekend were caused by a national trend of airlines adding bigger aircraft and red-eye flights over the holidays. Agency spokesman Nico Melendez did not address if the delays on Monday and Tuesday were because of similar communication problems.

Melendez said his agency was not prepared for the number of flights at the airport over the weekend because the airlines had failed to communicate their needs.

"There was some 64 flights that had been added in the late hours of the evening that we had no knowledge about," he said Monday.

The long lines come as DIA is seeing a record-breaking period of holiday travel.

DIA estimates it had its seventh-busiest day ever on Sunday with 175,000 passengers. This coming Sunday is expected to be the second-busiest ever with almost 179,000 travelers.

On Monday, about 166,000 people were estimated to have passed through the airport, well over the 145,000 counted on a typical day.

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