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

Jan 15, 2019

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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.

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