The partial government shutdown rippled through the U.S. transportation system Monday as staffing issues closed a security checkpoint at Houston’s largest airport and the world’s biggest hub in Atlanta suffered unusually long lines.
The issues at several airports stem largely from a shortage of Transportation Security Administration staff, who have been calling in to say they wouldn’t be showing up for work in recent weeks and whose absences accelerated over the weekend.
Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport said it didn’t have enough TSA staff to work all checkpoints and said its Terminal B screening point would remain closed Monday after shutting down Sunday. Meanwhile Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport by passenger traffic, reported delays of more than an hour at checkpoints early Monday, though by mid morning most had been reduced to normal levels.
A TSA spokesman attributed the employee absences to the snowstorm that hit the D.C. area hard on Saturday and Sunday. The absences coincide with the partial government shutdown
Travel troubles continue to mount from the lingering government shutdown, with the TSA reporting a spike in worker call outs Monday.
Travelers in Atlanta were greeted with security line waits of more than an hour at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Monday, a busy day for business travel. At one point, six security lanes were closed, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Passengers took to social media to complain about the lines and warn other passengers to arrive at the airport hours before their flights.
At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest, some passengers waited more than an hour to get through checkpoints. The airport reported the long lines on its website Monday morning, showing the hour-plus waits at all three checkpoints in the domestic terminal.
ATLANTA – Channel 2 Action News has learned that a man carried a gun through the TSA checkpoint at Atlanta’s airport and carried it all the way through to his destination: Tokyo.
TSA confirmed the incident with ABC News, saying the man and his firearm made it through the checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Jan. 2 and he boarded Delta Flight DL295 to Tokyo Narita International Airport.