The government shutdown is leaving airports cross the United States with understaffed security checkpoints and long lines as some Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents are refusing to work after weeks of not being paid. TSA announced this morning that the national rate of unscheduled absences is at 6.8 percent, compared to last year’s rate of 2.5 percent.
Tiffany Dowd, founder and president of Luxe Social Media, suggests arriving extra-early to your flights—as much as 3 hours early in some cases. “While airport security checkpoint lines can vary by city, you can check the status of wait times by downloading the My TSA app so that you can see if TSA lanes are open and available,” Dowd says.
The travel expert also warns that people looking to apply for or renew a Global Entry or Precheck membership may have to reschedule their interview after the shutdown ends, but opportunity are available to interview in select U.S. and Canadian airports when they arrive from an international flight.
Tweeting the Line
As lines get longer, and with no end to the shutdown in sight, agitated passengers are sharing TSA line experiences on social media.
Travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) face lengthy lines for TSA checkpoints. ATL advised departing travelers to give a three-hour leeway to get through security.
#ATL is experiencing longer than usual wait times during peak travel. Please plan ahead and give yourself 3 hours to clear security. ✈️
— Atlanta Airport (@ATLairport) January 14, 2019
TSA lines at Hartsfield-Jackson are more than an hour long this morn, backing up into baggage claim pic.twitter.com/vqsTaxA2sO
— Kelly Yamanouchi (@atlairportnews) January 14, 2019
There's a 2-hour wait at Atlanta airport due to a lack of TSA personnel.
— Everything Georgia (@GAFolIowers) January 14, 2019
ATL is not alone in the long line dilemma. Airports in New York, Minneapolis and Houston are troubled with growing lines and checkpoint closures.
This is the TSA screening line for Terminal 2 at MSP this morning. It extends out to the parking garage. MSP officials are missing in action. Thanks Trump. pic.twitter.com/XJfyKhcEXW
— Bob Collins (@MyLittleBloggie) January 6, 2019
— marcos Alberti (@alberti_marcos) January 7, 2019
— The Hill (@thehill) January 14, 2019
On Friday, Miami International Airport closed Terminal G, one of six terminals, for the weekend. The airport advised travelers to arrive two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights. Concourse G re-opened on Monday morning.
— Alex Finnie (@alexfinnieWPLG) January 11, 2019
Travelers fume in long lines at Miami International airport in govt shutdownhttps://t.co/1KOBSyyNkK
Passengers queue up at a checkpoint at Miami International Airport.
A shortage of security agents forced the airport to shut down Terminal G pic.twitter.com/2wVcR0qxkF
— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 14, 2019
What has your experience been? Tag us on social #MeetSmart with your pictures.