Hundreds of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) staff members have called out of work as of Friday, January 4, as the federal government shutdown continues. TSA officers are responsible for screening passengers and luggage for commercial flights. According to media reports, at least 170 TSA employees at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) have been absent from work each day this week in addition to a 200 to 300 percent increase in sick leave for employees at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Increased sick leave was also reported in North Carolina at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).
Continued absences are expected to continue at these and other airports in the coming days or weeks if the shutdown is not resolved. Delays and congestion is possible at airport security checkpoints.
The US federal government is partially shutdown due to a failure to pass a budget resolution. Approximately 55,000 TSA employees are among those who are expected to continue to work without pay during the shutdown.
Individuals traveling by plane in the US in the coming days and weeks are advised to monitor the situation and anticipate delays and congestion at airport security checkpoints.