Government Shutdown Leads to Longer Airport Security Lines

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.

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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 not alone in the long line dilemma. Airports in New York, Minneapolis and Houston are troubled with growing lines and checkpoint closures.

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.

What has your experience been? Tag us on social #MeetSmart with your pictures.


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