Airport closes terminal due to TSA call-outs amid shutdown

The increased call-outs by TSA agents slowed down security checkpoints at airports in Miami and Houston. People are advised to leave extra time for travelling and boarding their planes on time.
3:41 | 01/14/19

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Transcript for Airport closes terminal due to TSA call-outs amid shutdown
This is the 24 day of the government shutdown and while many Americans may not feel it the way federal workers certainly are. They may soon start to at the nation's airports because more TSA security officers. Are starting to call out sick and so we want to turn to our senior transportation correspondent David Curley at Reagan national airport. David what's the TSA saying about the state of affairs around the country. That everything is safe in lines are only a little bit longer but I agree with you Aaron I think if Americans are average American. Is gonna feel the effect of the shutdown it is right here in these TSA lines over the next several days because as we've been seeing since they shut down started. 24 days ago as you mentioned a number of these TSA officers have called out and today we just got the numbers it is seven point 6%. On an average. Day it's usually about three and a half percent that means that one. Out of every thirteen TSA officers like you see right here at the checkpoint. Have called in sick called out and are not working today. Now we've talked about how this may affect Americans our latest poll shows that. 18% of Americans that's less than one in five. Have been feeling the effects but I think that as this continues if the TSA officers continue to call out. That these lines could change we've already seen some of the ramifications. Today at Dulles airport which is about thirty miles to our west they have closed down one of the lanes. In Houston they shut down to be terminal checkpoints that means. If you wanted to get on a flight in Houston you still went through security either through terminal AA or terminal C. And then had to walk to terminal B to get on your flight. And that's where we're gonna start to see these changes Aron is it is more and more these officers call out. The security directors and each airport have no choice they have to match the security protocols. So what do you do if you don't have enough officers you consolidate the number of lines. That you have the number of checkpoints and you could see these lines which are actually pretty normal for a midday rush start to get longer and that's why I think Americans. We'll start to feel the effects of the shutdown in these coming days there and. And David as you suggest the TSA is not going to compromise. On its security protocols so shutting down a lane and inconveniencing passengers to the TSA. Is better than just keeping it open with fewer people at the checkpoint. Security is number one that's the first thing number two is getting people through the lines as quickly as possible. Number two will suffer because they will not compromise on number one so you can see how we don't have completely full lines here. On a Monday morning or Monday as we get used to the noon flights. But yes at some point when you don't have enough officers to man these checkpoints. These lines we'll get longer and that's how Americans will start to feel the effects of the shutdown won a couple things that they're doing right now as far as contingency. You see them shut down lions. There's some talk could they actually offer them some retention bonuses. Could be allowed him to file for unemployment benefits to get them some kind of pay. While they're waiting for the shutdown to and in the other thing we've seen before and it's happened would lines in the past. Is you'll see the airlines don't aid workers to help move bins to do non security jobs. At these checkpoints of those are all contingencies I mean TSA is talking about this a lot. They won't jeopardize security. If the lines get longer that's something that we're all gonna have to deal. ABC's David Curley our senior transportation correspondent Reagan national airport theater thanks to you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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