By Courtney Gousman

St. Louis (KSDK) - If you fly, you know how frustrating getting through the long the security lines can be. It's all about the bags.

NewsChannel 5 discovered all those passengers opting to carry-on their luggage is slowing down the screening process, and wearing down Transportation Security Administration or TSA agents.

More and more airline passengers are opting to fly with their bags by their side, avoiding the bag- checking process altogether.

"I don't check bags anymore. Whenever I can avoid it," said Danville, California traveler Dave Kilzer.

Tina Trepanowski of Warren, Pennsylvania said, "So we don't have to pay that extra $25 each direction, each bag."

Passengers say carrying on bags is also a timesaver, and trying to cram everything into carry-on bags calls for some pretty creative packing.

"You keep your clothes neutral and if you want some color, you get scarves," said Trepanowski.

The change in the way people travel is making things a bit harder on TSA agents who have to screen all those carry-ons.

"A couple of years ago we went from 40,000 up to 100,000 over about an eight month time frame," said Bill Switzer, Federal Security Director at Lambert St. Louis International Airport.

Switzer says he saw that surge in carry-on bags in 2010. He also says a two percent increase in passenger traffic last year, is also the reason they're screening more bags. Now the government is looking to hire 30 more TSA agents to keep things moving at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and give current workers some relief.

"Wait times may go down a little bit," said Switzer.

TSA workers say two to three years ago, the average traveler took about one and a half bags with them on the plane, but nowadays some travelers are taking as many as three bags.

Many travelers say the idea of paying $15-100 for checking their bags is just not appealing.

"I try and find airlines that won't have a checked bag fee because it does increase your overall cost," said Jill Seys, a St. Louis traveler.

NewsChannel 5 checked in with American Airlines who says 50- 55 percent of their customers carry-on all of their luggage.

"Bags, I would say is one of the nemesis's we have," said Switzer.

American Airlines says they're in the process of creating more overhead room on its planes for carry-on baggage.

For more information on how to apply for the available TSA jobs, you can visit the government's USA Jobs website.

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