No delays at Las Vegas airport, despite government shutdown


Mikayla Whitmore

Travelers use new automated screening lanes at the security checkpoint in Terminal 3 at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nev. on August 31, 2017.

Published Tue, Jan 8, 2019 (2:30 p.m.)

Updated Tue, Jan 8, 2019 (6:27 p.m.)

Despite the partial government shutdown and reports of unpaid Transportation Security Administration workers calling out sick or quitting, security checkpoints at the Las Vegas airport have been operating normally, an airport spokeswoman said.

“Our security checkpoints have been and are currently operating normally, with no excessive wait times reported,” McCarran International Airport spokeswoman Christine Crews said today.

The regional spokeswoman for the TSA, which operates independently from the airport, was not available for comment. An auto-reply email said she has been furloughed due to the shutdown.

TSA employees have not been paid since the government shutdown started Dec. 22 amid a showdown between Democratic lawmakers and President Donald Trump over funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Several screeners have quit while others have considered leaving if they don’t get paid this week, TSA union leader Hydrick Thomas told Politico. Thomas is president of the TSA Council for the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents some TSA employees.

“Every day I’m getting calls from my members about their extreme hardships and need for a paycheck,” Thomas said. “Some of them have already quit and many are considering quitting the federal workforce because of this shutdown.”

On Friday, more than 150 TSA employees called out of work at Kennedy International Airport in New York City, the New York Times reported, noting that in the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, call-outs were three times the average.

National TSA officials said 4.6 percent of all TSA employees called out of work on Monday, up from 3.8 percent a year ago. Agents screened more than 2 million passengers on Monday, with an average wait of less than 30 minutes, officials said.

The shutdown impacts more than 800,000 federal employees, with about half of them working without pay and the rest furloughed, according to the Associated Press.

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