Expect Tougher Air Travel as Government Shutdown Drags On: TSA Union Rep

TSA officers at Logan Airport

TSA officers at Logan Airport

With Concourse G, home to United and smaller airlines, closing to outbound flights at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, restaurants and shops inside the terminal will shut down, too. Terminal G's flights will be diverted to other terminals this weekend.

Rep. Donna Shalala, newly elected to a Miami district, cited the planned closing of a Pizza Hut in MIA's Terminal G Saturday afternoon as one of the ripple effects from a partial shutdown that's about to be the longest in USA history.

Miami International spokesman Greg Chin said the airport has had TSA workers call in sick at twice the usual rate, and TSA managers were unsure whether they would have enough staff to operate the airport's 11 checkpoints during normal operating hours.

Shuker said he's not confident the crisis will end soon, and blamed President Trump for failing to make "rational decisions" in his negotiations with congressional Democrats over a border wall. 'They're erring on the side of caution'.

Planes will be able to drop off passengers at the terminal during the closure, but departing passengers won't have gate access. It has a team of non-essential employees who are trained to screen air travelers, but that is only a stopgap created to cover for shortages at one or two airports during a natural disaster.

It's a new normal for many, but Bluegrass Airport workers are stressed and anxious. It also provides the Mobile Passport Control feature, which allows US citizens with a valid USA passport and Canadian citizens with a valid Canadian passport and B1 or B2 visa status to have their passport information processed by using their smartphone or tablet - and avoid the traditional checkpoint lanes - when arriving at MIA from overseas.

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A spokeswoman for Oakland International Airport said it hosted an all-day appreciation event for federal employees on Friday to recognize their work during the shutdown.

But the agency is anxious the ongoing shutdown means lines may only get longer.

TSA spokesman Michael Bilello acknowledged that callouts had begun over the holidays and had increased since then.

Unlike the controllers, TSA officers and other workers deemed essential, most federal employees are furloughed and haven't been working. They Just want to work and get paid and they say this could affect us. TSA workers were paid two weeks ago, but won't be getting their latest paycheck at the end of the week.

Congress adjourned for the weekend Friday afternoon, guaranteeing the government shutdown will continue and become the longest in U.S. history - as air traffic controllers sued the Trump administration over their frozen pay.

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