Published: Nov 24, 2010 7:37 AM EST
Updated: Nov 24, 2010 4:37 AM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The TSA has been taking plenty of heat for it passenger screening policies; now with a busy travel weekend, the agency is hoping to ease the strain of air travel in other areas with a cell phone app.

 

The MyTSA app promises to help travelers track airport delays, security wait times and what you can bring on board.

 

"It would be neat to know, just that much less stress.  There's enough stress with traveling," said Will Ahlers, who found himself waiting for a delayed flight  out of Fort Myers back to his home in Boston on Tuesday.

 

He says a cell phone app would have come in handy to know ahead of time.

 

"If we'd gotten that even an hour ago it would be so much more helpful instead of just finding out when you're checking in."

 

The TSA's app promises travelers up to date information, but we quickly found it isn't perfect.

 

We logged on inside Southwest Florida International Airport on an iPhone, but found when the app tried to automatically detect our location, it said we were in Ft. Lauderdale.

 

Fixing the location is an easy fix, but the app's airport delay feature wasn't very helpful.  It gives passengers conditions for the airport as a whole, not individual flights.  That's something several other apps offer, from the big travel websites like Kayak and Expedia, to the individual airlines.

 

What the TSA app does offer that the others don't is a way to check security wait times.  However, the security tracker didn't work well at Southwest Florida International.  The depends on users to submit their own experiences with security; nobody at RSW had done so at the time of our test..

 

Perhaps the most useful feature on the app is a search area to find out what items you can and can't bring on board.

 

The TSA app is available on any iPhone, but is also accessible from any mobile phone with a web browser, at tsa.gov/mobile.  Its free to use.