Though Department of Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton called the story "fake news," the TSA has admitted that sick calls have increased. Wait times may be affected depending on the number of call outs.
Other airport employees called the situation unmanageable and said frantic passengers were left crying in line.
"Fifty to 100 people are calling out at any particular airport", said Hydrick Thomas, president of the TSA union under the American Federation of Government Employees.
The federal agency tasked with guaranteeing USA airport security is acknowledging an increase in the number of its employees calling off work during the partial government shutdown.
For now, I'd personally recommend getting to the airport the full three hours before your flight is expected to leave, just in case you run into trouble when you're trying to make it through security.
"Please, everyone, have patience with the officers who came to work", a Delta Airlines employee pleaded with travelers surrounding her. "Please".
Katie DenDaas ABC News
Callouts have also increased 200-300 per cent at Dallas-Fort Worth, and are 10% higher at North Carolina's Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte airports, CNN reports.
Trump planned to meet with congressional leaders at 11 a.m. Saturday for more negotiations.
'This staffing crisis is negatively affecting the National Airspace System, and the shutdown nearly certainly will make a bad situation worse, ' National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi said in a statement.
President Trump said Friday that the shutdown might drag on for "months or even years," so kindness might be the most that many of us can do.
CNN went on to respond to Trump, writing that while Trump "may not like the truth", TSA did confirm that the number of call outs had increased. To date, however, screening wait times remain well within TSA standards. Single parents can no longer afford child care or they are finding cash-paying jobs outside of government work to pay their rent and other bills, for example. "Security effectiveness will not be compromised and performance stands will not change". "@spoxdhs & @realdonaldtrump may not like the truth but that won't stop us from reporting", the news outlet wrote, adding the hashtag "FactsFirst".
A federal official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The New York Times the TSA call-outs appeared to be a coordinated protest against the shutdown.
On Thursday and Friday, more than 4 million travelers nationwide were screened, Bilello said.
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As a result, around 800,000 public workers have been unpaid, with about a quarter of the federal government closed for two weeks. Trump is set to meet top Democratic lawmakers Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in a bid to break the long impasse.
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