Some TSA officers calling in sick

Some TSA officers calling in sick

Some TSA officers calling in sick

Employees of the Transportation Security Administration are expected to work without pay during the shutdown because their jobs are considered essential.

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Still, wait times at the airport never exceeded 25 minutes, he added, precheck travelers never waited longer than 8 minutes.

Sarah Burgisser, who works for one of the airlines, said early Saturday morning passengers were waiting hours to get through security.

On Friday, TSA said in a statement that the call outs began over the holiday period and have increased.

Not only that, many employees who called in sick were out looking for work during the shutdown. He said the growth "without commensurate increases in the size of our Transportation Security Officer workforce ... has impacted both training and morale".

"Please, everyone, have patience with the officers who came to work", a Delta Airlines employee pleaded with travelers surrounding her. "Please".

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According to a Friday CNN report, the mass call-outs have hit New York's JFK, Texas' Dallas-Fort Worth and North Carolina's Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham airports.

Workers aren't skipping work as a protest, a TSA union official told CNN, but rather because they can't afford to continue without a paycheck.

'This staffing crisis is negatively affecting the National Airspace System, and the shutdown nearly certainly will make a bad situation worse, ' National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi said in a statement. As others continue to work without pay, more are calling in sick. "Security effectiveness will not be compromised and performance stands will not change". The statement said wait times "may be affected" but so far "remain well within TSA standards".

President Donald Trump and congressional leaders met Friday at the White House and are no closer to resolving the impasse.

"TSA is closely monitoring the situation", the agency statement said. Democrats, empowered by a decisive victory in last year's midterm elections, have dismissed Trump's demands.

In what one official dubbed the "blue flu", hundreds of blue-uniformed TSA officials have been calling out sick in recent days as the shutdown stretches on and their salaries go unpaid. That means TSA officials at airports around the country - cognizant that long security lines frustrate passengers - could have tough decisions to make, including whether to let passengers board flights with less scrutiny.

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