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Will the Federal Shutdown Stop You From Travelling?

View Poll Results: Will Safety Concerns From the Federal Shutdown Stop You From Travelling?
I think it's perfectly safe to travel now
107
89.92%
I'm cancelling my travel plans
6
5.04%
I would like to cancel my travel plans but I'm traveling for business
3
2.52%
I would like to cancel my travel plans but they're non-refundable
3
2.52%
Voters: 119. You may not vote on this poll

Will the Federal Shutdown Stop You From Travelling?

Old Jan 8, 19, 3:02 pm
  #1  
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Will the Federal Shutdown Stop You From Travelling?

As we enter day 18 of the US Government shutdown, news of thinning TSA agent numbers abounds. Fewer TSA agents are showing up to work and those that are there haven't been paid in weeks.

We've heard many casual travelers say that they're worried enough about the hassles and security risks presented by an understaffed TSA to put their travel plans on hold.

What we want to know from the veteran travelers at FlyerTalk is: will you be changing or canceling your travel plans while the federal government is shut down?

Feel free to include any comments you have below. The results will go in an article and on social media, but all responses will remain anonymous in any publication.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 6:50 pm
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I still plan on traveling and have no plans to change any of my trips at this point. Don't have much travel scheduled early on...first trip not until Jan 30. I think it will be perfectly safe to travel. May be slightly longer lines at TSA checkpoints, but I don't think it will impact the quality of their work. They know how critical their job is to our safety and I believe that they will continue to do it up to the standards they have already established.

Last edited by divrdrew; Jan 8, 19 at 7:02 pm
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Old Jan 8, 19, 8:29 pm
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What a ridiculous question. TSA does little to truly impact security in the first place. Being a bit shorthanded makes no difference. This just means fewer employees to grope passengers and confiscate harmless water.
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Old Jan 9, 19, 12:11 am
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The poll seems biased towards safety concerns, as if a few less officers on duty is going cause a problem (hint it won't).

Whereas I suspect more people on FT are concerned on operational impacts (i.e. delays at security or at immigration/customs, risk of missing flights, problems getting US visas issued, etc.).
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Old Jan 9, 19, 9:06 am
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The active presence of the TSA makes the whole experience of traveling that much stupider, so fewer TSA staff ought to actually improve the process.

Kiwi Flyer's list of active and productive members of the government are the ones whose absence could have a negative impact on travel.
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Old Jan 9, 19, 11:47 am
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I don't see any safety impact from the sick-out TSA employees are staging. There will still be security checks. The difference will be passenger wait time. With fewer staff at work, lines will be longer. It's possible passengers will miss flights. I'm already compensating by adding 15 minutes (with Pre Check) to my plans.
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Old Jan 9, 19, 12:14 pm
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This past weekend had the shortest security line I've ever seen at HNL with no evidence of any shortage of TSA officers. My nephew also said it was the easiest time he ever had going through airport security as he headed back to college. If passenger wait time is your metric of the impact of a partial federal government shutdown, I've only seen positive impacts. As Br'er Rabbit said, don't throw me into that Briar Patch.
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Old Jan 9, 19, 12:27 pm
  #8  
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I'm traveling, in fact on Saturday morning which will be the first day after the first missed federal paychecks. I'm very concerned about long lines (even with PreCheck--I hope--and CLEAR, plus high tier elite status and a premium cabin ticket) and just how early I must go to the airport, but not safety. If there are safety concerns, they center on the large numbers of people standing in a huge group landside at airports waiting to be screened.
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Old Jan 9, 19, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
the sick-out TSA employees are staging.
Just curious, do you keep going to work when you're not paid?
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Old Jan 9, 19, 4:25 pm
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Originally Posted by secondsoprano View Post
Just curious, do you keep going to work when you're not paid?
I am specifically not offering judgment in thread on whether government employees should do this; I'm simply stating the fact that they are. Do you wish to argue a sick-out is not happening?
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Old Jan 9, 19, 5:27 pm
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I'm not expecting to see anything radically different at SEA this Sunday night than I've seen for the past 6-8 months ... next Fri afternoon/early evening at DCA or IAD could well be a different story, though
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Old Jan 9, 19, 8:36 pm
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
I am specifically not offering judgment in thread on whether government employees should do this; I'm simply stating the fact that they are. Do you wish to argue a sick-out is not happening?
I don't suggest it's not happening. I question your use of the loaded term "staging", when their option is turning up and working for nothing. If you need money to pay the mortgage and put food on the table, you're going to need to find work that does pay.
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Old Jan 9, 19, 11:28 pm
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Nothing is perfectly safe. A better poll choice would be "the level of safety is about the same".
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Old Jan 9, 19, 11:55 pm
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Originally Posted by secondsoprano View Post
I don't suggest it's not happening. I question your use of the loaded term "staging", when their option is turning up and working for nothing. If you need money to pay the mortgage and put food on the table, you're going to need to find work that does pay.
"Staging" is a common, neutral term used historically in conjunction with "sick out". You are the one using loaded terms, as you have in the statement I quoted above and in the previous post I responded to. You are trying to turn this thread about the impacts on travelers into a politically charged debate about the financial and ethical situations of the employees involved, a off-topic swerve that nobody else here, myself included, is interested in.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 12:34 am
  #15  
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I've noticed no difference in the last week or so, shutdown or no shutdown. I've encountered efficient checkpoints, I've encountered an utter moron TSA agent that rejected a valid piece of ID, so basically it's all BAU. No impacts on wait times either IME.
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