The holidays can be hectic for people working in the travel industry. One would think that they would get paid double, if not triple, to deal with complaining passengers. That’s not the case this year.
Thanks to the government shutdown, TSA employees are practically working for free. Travelers shouldn’t be worried about going through the airport, however. K-9 handlers, explosive experts, inspectors, and all other frontline security officials are expected to be working. Even air traffic controllers are affected by this shutdown. Travelers are happy that they will be protected, but some are standing with TSA workers because they feel this situation isn’t right. “It’s just wrong, and we can do better,” traveler Ramona Brown said. “As America, we are better than that.”
President Donald J. Trump issued the government shutdown days before the Christmas holiday after no deal was made to pay for the wall proposed for the Mexican-U.S. border. The move put 800,000 federal employees out of work. Out of that number, an estimated 420,000 workers still have to report to work, without pay. One of the only positive sides to this is that the employees who are forced to work without pay do receive back pay after the shutdown ends, according to a TSA spokesperson.
Travelers have been advised to get to the airport earlier than normal to give themselves extra time since, as always, getting through security will be a hassle. Adding upset workers to the equation, the holiday cheer at airports nationwide will be minimal. During the holiday travel period, December 20 through January 6, close to 46 million passengers will be passing through airports. The shutdown doesn’t just affect TSA. National parks are also feeling the heat. Parks will remain open, but facilities within the parks will definitely be closed.
You may want to use the bathroom before you leave home.