Atlanta Airport Passengers Wait More Than An Hour To Get Through Security

on October 24, 2017 in Miami, Florida.
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 24: A patch is seen on the jacket of a Transportation Security Administration official as he works at the automated screening lanes funded by American Airlines and installed by the Transportation... MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 24: A patch is seen on the jacket of a Transportation Security Administration official as he works at the automated screening lanes funded by American Airlines and installed by the Transportation Security Administration at Miami International Airport on October 24, 2017 in Miami, Florida. The automated checkpoint technology, which is now in use at 11 airports across the country, is said by officials with the Transportation Security Administration to enhance security efficiency as well as decrease the amount of time spent in the security screening process. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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ATLANTA (AP) — Air travelers endured waits of more than an hour to get through domestic checkpoints at the world’s busiest airport in Atlanta on Monday, the first business day after security screeners missed paychecks for the first time due to partial government shutdown.

No-shows among screeners across the nation soared Sunday and again Monday, when the Transportation Security Administration reported a national absence rate of 7.6 percent, compared with 3.2 percent on the comparable Monday a year ago.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport reported the long lines on its website Monday morning, showing the hour-plus waits at all three checkpoints in the domestic terminal.

TSA is working with the Atlanta airport and airlines “to maximize all available operational resources at the airport,” TSA spokesman Jim Gregory said.

The agency is working with airports and airlines nationwide to consolidate operations and get the most out of resources, Gregory added. He declined to provide absentee figures for Atlanta or other airports, saying that would compromise security by exposing possible vulnerabilities.

“Screeners will not do anything to compromise or change their security procedures,” he said.

Atlanta’s wait times stretched well beyond what the TSA says most passengers have encountered since the shutdown began.

TSA said that it screened 1.97 million people on Sunday and that 99.1 percent waited less than 30 minutes, and 93.1 percent less than 15 minutes. Precheck lines for people who pay a fee for expedited screening averaged less than five minutes, TSA said.

A combination of a busy Monday travel day combined with some security lines being closed led to the long lines, airport spokesman Andrew Gobeil said. He said he didn’t know how many security lines were down.

A statement from TSA attributed the long waits in Atlanta to “anticipated high volume.”

Across the country, airports are making changes to deal with the shortage of screeners.

Miami International Airport closed one of its concourses for part of Saturday and Sunday, shifting about a dozen afternoon and evening flights each day to other concourses so that TSA workers could adequately staff the other checkpoints. Airport spokesman Greg Chin said TSA was staffing the Concourse G checkpoint on Monday, but airport officials were monitoring the situation and would make more adjustments if necessary.

Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport closed one terminal Sunday afternoon and it remained shuttered Monday morning, according to an airport spokesman.

The terminal handles United Express flights, which were being moved to other terminals. A spokesman for United Airlines said flights were not affected.

In Atlanta, Monday’s long wait times come with less than three weeks remaining before the city hosts one of the world’s biggest sporting events. Super Bowl 53 on Feb. 3 is expected to bring hordes of travelers to Atlanta for the game and days of concerts and related events.

“We’re confident that we will be as efficient and as welcoming as people expect the city of Atlanta to be here at Hartsfield-Jackson for the Super Bowl,” Gobeil said.

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Notable Replies

  1. Longer lines! Longer lines! Longer lines! :smirk:

  2. An Air Traffic Controller and TSA Strike in time for the Super Bowl would be an interesting sight… Heck, isn’t MLK this weekend? Bump it up.

  3. Best snooze I’ve read so far today. More, please.

  4. We need more strikes to remind people how much they depend on others to live a smooth life.

    I was in Frankfurt Airport one year like the week before Easter. Would have been a busy day anyway as schools went on vacation, but then a massive sickout happened with screeners… Lines wrapped around the massive concourse, many of us missed flights and were rebooked on later ones when we did finally get through.

  5. Avatar for sanni sanni says:

    So tired, overstressed workers who are showing up to work while not getting paid, get to face grumpy/frustrated travelers facing longer wait times, I imagine they, too are grumpy as hell.

    Sounds miserable.

    Not that the dude who took his ball and went home cares. Cuz - Everyone Loves Him and Wants the Wall !!!

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