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How A Shutdown Could Affect The World’s Busiest Airport During The Holidays

If a partial government shutdown occurs, TSA agents at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport would have to work for free.
If a partial government shutdown occurs, TSA agents at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport would have to work for free.
Credit TSA.GOV

If a partial government shutdown occurs, Transportation Security Administration agents at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport would have to work for free.

But how will that affect the world’s busiest airport during these peak holiday travel times?

Seth Kaplan, an analyst with Airline Weekly, said working for free won’t help morale among TSA employees and could lead to delays.

“Here we have the busiest day of the holiday season coming up Saturday,” he said. “You can imagine that as you want people to be as motivated as possible to process all those passengers safely, but also quickly … this is not going to help in that regard.”

But TSA officials said they don’t expect passengers will see any impacts.

The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents TSA workers, also felt the same way.

In a statement, AFGE said the federal employees deemed essential will continue to do the work they’re supposed to— whether they receive a paycheck or not.

But the union’s President J. David Cox said it’s unfair for these TSA agents to work hard and still wonder how they will pay for basic food, housing and gas.

Air traffic controllers could also be affected if a shutdown occurs.

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