TSA staff call-outs prompts BWI checkpoint closure

Hands hold up a boombox in front of the Capitol building

TSA to close checkpoint at BWI after 'excessive' number of agents call out of work

As it girds for a busy holiday weekend for travel, the nation's airport security screening system continues to struggle with high absenteeism as a result of officers having to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.

But while the passengers aren't feeling the effects of the shutdown, TSA workers are.

Working without compensation is especially devastating for the thousands of federal employees who live paycheck-to-paycheck.

The TSA lines at Huntsville International Airport on Friday weren't very long.

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The Transportation Security Administration said wait times to get through security lines stretched to 27 minutes Wednesday.

In a statement, TSA said passengers should arrive early and check with the airport and airlines for updates.

The checkpoint closure is further evidence of the strain placed on airports by the large number of callouts by security screeners forced to work without pay as essential staff while the government shutdown approaches its second month.

On Thursday, 6.4 percent of USA airport security officers were off the job, nearly twice the 3.8 percent on the same day a year earlier, the Transportation Security Administration said in a release.

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MyTSA uses information from the TSA as well as crowdsourced reports from travellers to let you know what your airport looks like. There were longer waits at only the Atlanta (39 minutes) and Seattle (29 minutes) hubs.

The agency said earlier it anticipates clearing more than 8 million people in the four days of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, an increase of almost 11 percent over a year ago.

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