Security wait times at the New Orleans airport peaked at 19 minutes for standard lanes on Monday (Jan. 21), as the partial government shutdown entered its fifth week.
The rate of TSA officers calling in sick was up to 7.5 percent on Monday, more than double the regular rate of unscheduled absences, according to a TSA news release. The Associated Press reports call-outs nationwide were as high as 10 percent over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.
The agency said many employees “are reporting that they are not able to report to work due to financial limitations,” according to the news release. Still, TSA reported that security wait times were below 30 minutes at nearly all of the country’s top 42 airports.
In New Orleans, the maximum wait Monday was 19 minutes for standard security lanes and 4 minutes for TSA PreCheck lanes, according to the release.
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport had the longest max wait at 46 minutes, followed by 40 minutes at Newark Liberty International Airport, which serves New York City and the surrounding metro. Westchester County White Plains Airport in upstate New York had the shortest wait at 10 minutes.
Instances of long waits and winding security lines have been mostly isolated to major airports, including New York’s LaGuardia and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. However, many travelers remain wary as the government shutdown drags on.
Roughly 800,000 government workers aren’t being paid. That includes TSA officers, who are considered essential employees and are expected to continue working without pay.
TSA officers screened 2.18 million passengers Monday, according to the news release. About 93 percent of those passengers waited less than 15 minutes to get through security, the agency said.
See the table below for a full list of security wait times at U.S. airports.
Jennifer Larino covers residential real estate, retail and consumer news, travel and cruises, weather and other aspects of life in New Orleans for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-239-1424. Follow her on Twitter @jenlarino.