Are absences of Transportation Security Administration officers slowing down airport screening lines? Depends on whom you ask.
The TSA says no, theres little or no difference in staffing levels. But other air-travel organizations are citing delays and at least one travel expert is warning fliers to give themselves an extra half an hour.
In an announcement on voicemail accessed on Tuesday, a TSA spokesman, who did not identify himself, acknowledged that absences are up slightly among its 51,000 officers. On Monday, he said, the agency counted 4.6 percent of officers out with unscheduled absences. That compares with 3.8 percent on the same day a year ago.
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