Video Shows Miserable Wait Times at Atlanta Airport Security Due to Shutdown

Jan 15, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The US government’s partial shutdown took a major toll on the world’s busiest airport on Monday.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL) continued to warn airline passengers on Tuesday to leave at least three hours to get through security checkpoints for domestic flights, following TSA’s advice. An airport spokesperson told TPG that Tuesday’s wait times are within the normal range, and the airport is operating without delays.

On Monday, ATL’s official Twitter account posted that passengers were experiencing above average wait times for security checkpoints.

According to data from the TSA, the maximum wait times on Monday for ATL security screening were 88 minutes for standard security lanes and 55 minutes for PreCheck lanes. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that wait times were more than two hours. One video, posted by a CNN reporter on Monday, captured the massive lines that wound throughout the airport.

Many reports say that because TSA officers are not getting paid for their work during the government shutdown, increased numbers of TSA employees have been calling out sick. The TSA says, however, that an “anticipated high volume” of passengers caused the short-staffing of TSA officers on Monday.

Two other US airports partially shutdown some terminals due to short-staffing of TSA officers during the shutdown. Miami International Airport (MIA) closed one of its terminals for half of the day on Saturday, Sunday and Monday due to a shortage of TSA officers. Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) similarly closed one of its terminals due to “staffing issues,” and a checkpoint at Dulles Airport (IAD) in Washington, DC, was closed, though the TSA attributed that airport’s low employee numbers to a snowstorm.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.