Travelers concerned over reported sick-outs by TSA workers

ATLANTA — The government shutdown is reportedly leading to an increase in Transportation Security Administration employees calling in sick.

The shutdown has created uncertainty, and there’s no end in sight for the TSA employees, who do not know when back pay is coming.

Despite an increase in call-outs, the agency is reassuring passengers safety is the top priority.

The TSA confirmed the increase in a statement Friday, but it is downplaying a report by CNN that suggested the call outs were in protest.

An estimated 55,000 TSA employees are expected to continue to work without pay while the government is shut down.

"If the legislators are getting paid, it's unfair," a passenger told Channel 2 Action News.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms commented on the government shutdown Saturday morning on Twitter.

Hartsfield-Jackson was not mentioned in the CNN report, which cited anonymous federal officials for their reporting.


Channel 2's Matt Johnson spoke to passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport who said they haven't noticed any changes in checkpoint wait times.

“It's no problem today, but I don’t know what the future will hold for them,” a passenger said.

Passengers said they will start to expect delays the longer the shutdown continues.

“In all fairness, they should resolve this. This is America. It's not like the resources are not there,” a passenger said.

The TSA said it is monitoring the situation.

Some passengers said they wouldn't be surprised if the call-outs increased even more.

“I would totally empathize with them,” a passenger said.

The union representing federal workers and the TSA has denounced the shutdown and the two others of 2018.

A total of 420,000 federal workers are expected to continue working without pay.