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Phoebe XU, Travel Editor

    Most people say it is essential to get to the airport two hours before your flight takes off. So, you get there two hours early and all you see at the airport are infinitely long lines. It takes much longer than usual to check your bags in and get through security, and you ultimately miss your flight. Well, this situation might not have happened to everyone, but because of the month-long government shutdown, it might have. TSA workers are not going to work because of the government shutdown that has forced federal workers to work without pay. While some might say that it should be their civic duty to go to work and protect people from danger, but because government jobs do not allow their workers to work another job, these workers’ sole income comes from the government.

    In a Washington Post article, Michael Bilello, TSA’s assistant administrator for public affairs, said, “We’re certainly not in denial that as we go further and further away from having a missed paycheck and going into unknowns, it’s going to start to affect people.” “People aren’t just pretending to be sick. What we’re hearing from the workforce is the increasing reason they’re calling out is, financially, they can no longer make it to work.”

    According to the Washington Post, the number of TSA agents who failed to show up for duty hit a record 10 percent on Jan. 20. Results from the record low include longer lines at airports specifically the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport.

    “The fact of asking, or in fact demanding, that people continue to come to work and not receive something and have no idea whether they even will receive back pay in many cases is an absolute killer for morale,” Erin E. Bowen a psychology professor at the University of Arizona said in a Washington Post article. “Any time you have these situations where people feel like they have no control over their work environment and no control over whether their effort receives payment, you’re going to see really wide-ranging consequences, and some of them are going to be bordering public safety concerns.”

    Many think that the government shutdown does not really affect them in any way, but many are actually affected in our community.

    “My dad, Warren Kennedy, is an air traffic controller, meaning that he tells pilots where to go so planes don’t crash into each other,” Junior Julia Kennedy said. “He and his co-workers have been working since the beginning of the government shutdown without pay, and it has been putting a strain on my household because his income is solely dependent on the government.”

    According to The New York Times, “The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates La Guardia, as well as Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International airports, said 47 flights were canceled at La Guardia and there were 580 delays, which represented about half of the day’s flights. At Newark Liberty, at least 40 flights were canceled and nearly 300 were delayed; Kennedy did not have any cancellations, but there were more than 230 delays.” Many airports, especially in the Northeast, are experiencing heavy delays because of the short staff including TSA workers and Air Traffic Controllers.

    While the government has now reopened, the effects of it will continue to face thousands of Americans. Federal workers have worked for over a month without pay, and most will not be compensated for their work during the shutdown.

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