TSA says absent workers aren’t causing delays. Others disagree.


National News

January 10, 2019 - 10:25 AM

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) worker screens passengers and airport employees at O'Hare International Airport Monday in Chicago. There have been reports of an increase in TSA workers calling in sick at some airports. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/TNS)

Are absences of Transportation Security Administration officers slowing down airport screening lines? Depends on whom you ask.

The TSA says no, there’s 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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