TSA screener dismissals reached 10 percent during weekend vacations



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David Koenig, The Associated Press

Published Monday, January 21 2019 10:20 EST

The percentage suspension of the lost TSA airport has reached 10 percent due to the partial closure of the government entering the fifth week.

The Transportation Security Administration said on Monday that the absence rate on Sunday was compared with 3.1 percent on a comparable Sunday last year.

Workers who filter their passengers and bags face another loss of paycheque if the closure does not end earlier this week. According to the TSA, many of them said financial difficulties prevented them from reporting to the workplace.

TSA said the national average waiting time at the airport checkpoint line was within the normal limit of 30 minutes, but there were longer lines at several airports.

The agency has sent additional screening to airports in Atlanta, LaGuardia Airport in New York, and Newark, New Jersey. A TSA spokesman said other airports might also get additional assistance.

The absence rate of 10 percent on Sunday showed that more than 3,000 airport filters did not work. TSA has 51,000 filters, and a spokesperson said that around 33,000 work on certain days. That surpassed the previous 8 percent high on Saturday.

With less screening, TSA closed one of its security checkpoints at Baltimore / Washington airport at the weekend, reopened it, but closed it again on Monday afternoon, according to an airport spokesman.

A checkpoint at Bush Intercontinental Houston Airport remains closed. An airport spokesman said the lines were relatively short at six other checkpoints.

TSA seems to manage a high level of pain and can also be expected. The agency said that on Sunday it filtered 1.78 million passengers, and only 6.9 percent – about 120,000 people – had to wait 15 minutes or longer to pass security.

There are no numbers available for Monday, but the website or spokesperson for several major airports including Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago O & H 39 reports a line of normal security and some problems. Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which has some of the longest lines in the country last week, reported waiting 15 to 30 minutes at domestic travel checkpoints on Monday. Los Angeles International Airport shows the most routes in under 20 minutes.

TSA gets a break from bad weather: Hurricanes in the Midwest and Northeast cause airlines to cancel more than 4,400 flights over the three-day weekend, which reduces the number of passengers to be checked.

Some airports – San Francisco are the biggest – screening with private contractors approved by the government, not TSA. The closure of the old government and more bankrupt TSAs could make other airports consider becoming private, even though that hasn't happened yet.

Vacation to honor Martin Luther King Jr. not as busy as a trip like the other three days weekend. However, the inconvenience could be a crisis for the travel industry the longer the shutdown takes place – and there are some signs of a move by President Donald Trump or the Democratic Congress to break the deadlock about spending border walls that cause closure.

"The President's Day weekend is much bigger, and then spring and Easter holidays – that's very important," said Savanthi Syth, an airline analyst for Raymond James. President's Day is February 18, and Syth said if a shutdown enters next month could cause some passengers to cancel travel plans.

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