T.S.A. Agents Refuse to Work During Shutdown, Raising Fears of Airport Turmoil – The New York Times

Federal officials have downplayed the effects of the partial shutdown on travelers. Michael Bilello, a spokesman for the T.S.A., has been using Twitter to report how long it is taking to get through security checkpoints. On Friday morning, he said that the maximum wait time at Newark Liberty International on Thursday was 36 minutes but at Boston Logan International it was just 7 minutes.

David P. Pekoske, the administrator of the T.S.A., said in a statement on Thursday: “I am connected to the field & fully understand the strain our employees & their families are experiencing. Yet, due to the commitment & resolve of the TSA work force, the traveling public has confidently traveled securely around the clock as high-level of travel volume indicate.”

No other major airports have announced plans to take the sort of action that Miami International has planned. Mr. Chin said that the airport would close Concourse G at 1 p.m. on Saturday through Monday and divert the flights that would normally leave from there to another concourse. He described that shift as a precaution “just in case the number of call-outs increases.”

A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the three major airports that serve New York City, said those airports had continued to operate normally during the shutdown.

One transportation security officer on a meal break in Terminal 2 at Kennedy International Airport this week said that his co-workers were still showing up to work and quietly enduring the uncertainty.

“It’s like you feel that silent tension that’s going to build up later on,” said the officer, a two-year veteran who lives in Queens and takes care of his parents. He said he could manage without a paycheck for now, but a shutdown lasting months or longer would be another matter.

“If it continues for a year, then the question is can you survive?” he said. Eventually, he suggested, he and his co-workers might start having to choose between food and shelter — and probably would cut back on food first.

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