TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - The government shutdown is dragging into its fifth week and airports across are seeing a spike in TSA workers calling out.
Ten percent missed work yesterday.
Travelers, so far, say they haven’t experienced anything out of the ordinary.
Tampa airport officials have not responded to requests for information from FOX 13 about TSA agents not coming to work. Over the past weeks, they’ve repeatedly said that most workers are there and there’s been no effect on travel.
But that’s not the case at other airports and many are concerned it’s a matter of time before it becomes more widespread.
Like hundreds of thousands of federal workers, TSA agents are in the dark. They’ve missed a paycheck due to the government shutdown and are unsure how long politics will continue to interfere with their livelihoods.
“It’s day to day living for them and it’s a shame they’re being used as pawns,” traveler Linda Cook said.
Travelers well aware of the hardships TSA agents are going through.
“When we went through this morning we thanked the TSA agent for being there,” Cook added
So far, it seems Tampa has been lucky. Extra screeners have been dispatched to large hubs like Atlanta, La Guardia, and Newark.
The Baltimore Washington Airport had to temporarily close one of its terminals.
Some travelers worry about what this could mean to their safety.
“That means there’s less security that means, you know, I’m more at risk,” commented traveler Teresa Rogan.
With 3,000 airport screeners missing work Sunday, many wonder whether the nation’s leaders will quicken their pace to strike a deal.
“Very sad state they’re part of a pawn of a chess game that’s kind of silly kind of needless,” traveler Dan Buchanan said.
TSA workers face missing a second paycheck this week.
Tuesday, some of Tampa’s federal workers plan a rally at the Tampa airport to show the shutdown’s impact on their families. That will be at 10 a.m.