Expect Longer Security Lines At US Airports — Travel Warning

Passengers wait at a TSA airport security checkpoint

Saturday's media dump suggested that scores of TSA workers failed to show up to work as the government shutdown hits the two-week mark.

Following previous shutdowns, government employees both required to stay on the job and those furloughed and ordered to not work have received back pay.

CNN said morning shift workers had to cover extra hours for an approximate 170 missing co-workers per week, as the shutdown enters its third week.

Similarly, call-outs increased by 200-300% at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

"In response, DHS spokesperson Tyler Houlton tweeted that their reporting is "#FakeNews", saying, "Security operations at airports have not been impacted by a non-existent sick out.

Michael Bilello, the agency's assistant administrator for strategic communications and public affairs, said staffing levels at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport were slightly down. The statement said wait times "may be affected" but so far "remain well within TSA standards".

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents and other federal employees continue to work without paychecks during the current government shutdown, and some appear to be fed up.

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"Call outs began over the Holiday period and have increased, but are causing minimal impact given there are 51,739 employees supporting the screening process", the tweet said. Of all of the travelers at TSA checkpoints Friday, more than 90 percent of them waited less than 15 minutes, he said.

'This will definitely affect the flying public who we (are) sworn to protect, ' Hydrick Thomas, president of the national TSA employee union, told CNN. About 800,000 workers now receive no pay, and roughly 420,000 are required to report for work without pay with the same repercussions for absenteeism as if they were being paid. That means leaving plenty of time to get to the airport, check in, make it through security and get to your gate.

Trump planned to meet with congressional leaders at 11 a.m. Saturday for more negotiations.

"Security effectiveness will not be compromised and performance standards will not change", he told the Times.

"I don't care that most of the workers not getting paid are democrats, I want to stop the shutdown as soon as we are in agreement on strong border security!"

And that will happen if the shutdown continues, a union official from Dallas-Fortworth International Airport told CNN. "If you're not seeing long wait times at airports, there's something on the security side they're not doing". The normal call-in rate is 3.5 per cent, and yesterday it increased to 5.5 per cent, according to TSA.

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