The Government shutdown is beginning to bite the world of travel.
TSA screeners are now calling in sick with much more regularity.
At least three airports–Miami, Houston/Intercontinental and Washington/Dulles–are closing some TSA checkpoints and redirecting passengers.
– Miami: afternoon closures on Concourse G.
– Houston: Terminal B closures.
– Dulles: West Mezzanine closures.
It’s to be expected that more closures are to follow in the next days or weeks–without advance notice.
Lines are also beginning to lengthen substantially. At Atlanta Hartsfield this morning, for example, checkpoint lines have exceeded one hour and photos posted by travelers show lines backing up into the baggage claim areas.
What can you do?
Expect the unexpected. That means showing up earlier for flights, leaving more time between connecting flights that require a second passage through security and leaving much more time after your arrival on an international flight.
And don’t forget… TSA agents are people too
Finally, please remember that checkpoint agents and customs officials aren’t receiving any compensation right now. So have a little consideration. Don’t get angry or impatient. Be polite. Say thanks. Wish them well.
If you see someplace to chip into food banks or other services that help the agents get through, feel free to make a donation. But do not try to tip or otherwise pay a TSA or Customs agent directly. They are barred by law from accepting remuneration of any kind.