Concerns Mount Over Impact of Government Shutdown on Travel

TSA officers at Logan Airport

But union officials said some Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers, who carry out airport security screening, had already quit because of the shutdown and others were considering quitting. Now employees have become protesters - demanding the government reopen.

This week, the government shutdown had begun to impact travel as TSA agents and air traffic controllers continue to work without promise of pay and FAA inspectors remain on furlough.

"We felt we had to make a decision before the weekend", Chin told the Miami Herald. Their work is not getting done, he said. He said the reality is setting in they're not going to get paid, but as essential personnel they're expected to still show up. A almost equal number of federal workers are not deemed "essential" and have been placed on temporary leave, and their absence is affecting some functions ranging from FAA inspections of aircraft to CBP interviews with applicants for Global Entry status.

According to the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), more than 50,000 TSA officers and staff will most likely miss another paycheck during this shutdown.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association filed a lawsuit Friday seeking a temporary restraining order against the federal government for allegedly violating the Fifth Amendment by depriving controllers of "hard-earned compensation without the requisite due process".

Controllers across the country started seeing pay stubs Thursday showing that they are receiving no pay for their work guiding planes to airports nationwide. The agency is focusing on ensuring its resources are devoted to ensure that the system remains safe, it said in a statement.

The stress is already taking a toll at some airports.

"I can't imagine what the line would be like if they were not here", one passenger said.

Some speaking out are TSA Agents working at Metro Airport where this round table was held. The TSA said the effect was "minimal".

TSA spokesman Jim Gregory said officials are managing.

Some airports are doing what they can to help federal employees who are working without pay.

In downtown Dallas, dozens of workers and union members representing various federal agencies gathered to bring attention to the plight of families hit by the impasse and to implore President Donald Trump to work with Congress to end the funding fight.

The rally was one of several across the country Thursday as the shutdown reached a critical stage in which hundreds of thousands of government workers will miss their first paycheck. But Chin said the airport has been monitoring security checkpoints and they have not seen abnormal delays.

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