— if TSA employees aren’t able to report for work. The Transportation Security Administration is considered an essential service, but if agents are furloughed, security lines could be slowed significantly, causing major delays and headaches for travelers.
As a result, airports could experience greater backlogs on ticketing lines, check-ins, and security screenings. During a government shutdown, critical functions of the federal government are either reduced or halted. Essential personnel, such as the military, law enforcement, airport security, social security, and medicare are exempt from the shutdown, but air traffic controllers and other TSA employees could still be affected. Any reduced staff could create a staffing shortage that could create chaos in airports around the country.
In addition to TSA employees, airport staff such as concessions workers, janitors, and security guard could be impacted by a government shutdown. Airports rely on the revenue generated from TSA fees, which could be lost at a time when they are needed the most. Flight delays, cancellations, and a lack of services could be expected as a result.
Finally, travelers should be aware of the possibility of airport closures. Airports that rely heavily on federal funding could be forced to close down if the shutdown drags on. As a result, travelers may need to consider alternate airports and routes.
It’s impossible to know the exact impacts of a government shutdown on the aviation industry, but travelers should expect delays and cancellations and be prepared for the possibility of airport closures if the situation is not resolved soon.