As security lines spiral out of control in the US, one airport has found a novel way to lighten the mood - send in the clowns!

At San Diego International Airport, circus performers have been brought in to entertain frustrated travellers, some of whom have missed flights due to security delays from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The Fern Street Circus were invited to the terminal after travellers affected by long lines and resulting delays began complaining under the hashtag #iHateTheWait.

San Diego is not the only airport to make attempts to entertain its customers - over at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, miniature horses have been brought in to cheer up the hordes of tired travellers.


The special "therapy unicorns" with colourful manes come from the nearby Seven Oaks Miniature Therapy Horses programme in Ohio and they're available for cuddles.

"Animals help reduce stress and anxiety levels and put smiles on people's faces," airport spokeswoman Mindy Kershner told NBC news. "Unlike service animals, who are working and should not be touched, therapy animals can be patted and hugged."

Long TSA lines have become an increasing problem around the US, as the busy summer travel season begins. Chicago's O'Hare airport has recommended that passengers arrive three hours prior to their flights.

American Airlines claimed 6800 of its passengers missed flights in one week due to TSA delays.

"The lines at TSA checkpoints nationwide have become unacceptable," airline spokesman Ross Feinstein told the Telegraph.
The TSA said the delays are due to reduced staffing from budget cuts, an increase in air travel and efforts to fix problems with screening.

While it has pledged to add 800 new security staff by June, those travelling around the US need to be prepared for some long waits - and hopefully, a couple of clowns.

- nzherald