Travelers waiting more than an hour in lines at Atlanta airport amid shutdown

Travelers waiting more than an hour in lines at Atlanta airport amid shutdown

Travelers at Atlanta's Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport on Monday were met with security lines that took more than an hour to get through, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The long waits came as TSA workers have been working without pay amid a partial government shutdown that has left the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) without funding since Dec. 22.

The Journal-Constitution reported that the long lines also caused some travelers to miss their flights. At least six security lanes were closed at domestic security, according to the newspaper.


TSA workers have been working without pay since the shutdown began, and there have been reports of worker callouts and shortages at airports across the country.

At Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, for example, the TSA checkpoint at one of its terminals was closed Sunday.

Miami International Airport closed one of its terminals over the weekend due to the shutdown.

The TSA Union reported last week that some agents have quit their jobs and others have said they are considering quitting as the shutdown continues.

In a statement, the Atlanta airport advised travelers to allow for "extra time" at the airport. The city is scheduled to host the Super Bowl in a few weeks.

The shutdown, now in its 24th day, began when President TrumpDonald John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE said he would not sign a spending bill that did not include $5.7 billion for his proposed wall along the southern border. Democrats have offered $1.3 billion in border security measures.

There have been few signs that the government will soon reopen, with Trump continuing to demand funding for a wall and Democrats vowing not to approve any such funding.  

"Delays at airports across the country today because of TSA staffing issues are a direct result of the Trump Shutdown,” Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonLong-shot Espy campaign sees national boost in weeks before election House chairman asks Secret Service for briefing on COVID-19 safeguards for agents Hillicon Valley: House panel says Intelligence Community not equipped to address Chinese threats | House approves bill to send cyber resources to state, local governments MORE (D-Miss.), the chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, said in a statement.

“Because of President Trump's childish refusal to reopen the government unless he gets his way, over 50,000 TSA Transportation Security Officers are forced to work without pay with no end in sight. Now, many are understandably looking for other work to make ends meet.”

Thompson added that aviation security could be hurt if the government does not reopen soon.

“I hope President Trump realizes that being responsible for the longest government shutdown in history is no badge of honor - it will have untold negative consequences for months to come,” he said.

--Morgan Chalfant contributed to this report, which was updated at 2:35 p.m.