5 Ridiculous Things The Travel Industry Experienced During The Government Shutdown
By Sharelle Burt
We can’t keep up with all the new government shutdown updates. With the partial shutdown going on for 23 days, new reports are coming in every single day on how workers are struggling with not being paid and TSA workers that continue to call out from work. While some of these stories are super concerning, others may put a smile on your face or give you the laugh you needed during this hectic time.
Here are the top 5 craziest things we have seen so far:
On January 3, one passenger claims he mistakenly packed a gun in his luggage. If that’s not shocking enough, they managed to fly all the way from Atlanta to Tokyo, sneaking it right past security. To the outside world, it looks like the passenger was testing TSA’s ability during the shutdown, but the traveler insists that it was a simple mistake.
Some TSA agents are slacking off on the job since their paychecks are nonexistent. You would too, right? Travelers have been tweeting what they’re experiencing in different airports during the shutdown, like the lucky travelers at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. TSA agents were blasting music from some of their favorite artists through portable speakers just to get them through their shifts. ‘Sicko Mode,’ ‘Lift Yourself,’ Ludacris and even rock band Paramore were heard over the loudspeakers.
JFK is playing sicko mode we’re living in a simulation
— cesar millan (the dog whisperer) (@postmetaboi) January 7, 2019
the extremely weird feeling when the airport PA is blasting Paramore’s “Misery Business” like it’s a super hot 2007 Friday night at old JFK
— Molly Templeton (@mollytempleton) January 5, 2019
JFK Airport blasting Ludacris at 5:45 am is a vibe
— Caroline Kenny (@carolinerkenny) December 28, 2018
Have you ever heard of airports closing terminals early? Probably not since airports don’t seem to close, but since TSA workers aren’t coming to work, terminals at Miami International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston were forced to close concourses earlier than usual. Miami shut down Concourse G early over the weekend, and Houston continued to keep Terminal B closed since no one was showing up to work. The Twitter pages for both airports have warned travelers to get to the airport earlier than normal due to expected delays.
Standing in line to get checked by airport security can be a hassle. Subtract trained TSA agents from the equation, and you’re going to get a headache. A reporter for CNN was at one of the busiest airports in the country, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and recorded a video of what is probably one of the longest airport security lines ever. Passengers were in line for hours on end waiting to get to their gates.
So I’m at @ATLairport and this may be the longest security line I have ever seen. Even growing up here, and even for a Monday morning. One passenger told me he’d been waiting over an hour and still had about 30 minutes to go. pic.twitter.com/UL7EghujQI
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenezCNN) January 14, 2019
Airport In Pittsburgh Cheers Unpaid Workers Up With Free Lunch
Allegheny County Airport Authority wanted to turn some frowns upside down, so they teamed up with Bruegger’s Bagels to provide free lunches for TSA agents and FAA air traffic controllers during all shifts at Pittsburgh International Airport. The bagged lunches include a sandwich, chips, cookie, and drink. Tables were set up on the landside ticketing level for airport staff to distribute some of the lunches. Lunches for air traffic controllers and other tower workers were delivered. It looks like not all hope is lost.