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Short staffing among TSA agents at BWI as shutdown drags on

ABC7

The TSA admitting in a statement Monday that 10 percent of its workforce didn’t come to work Sunday because of “financial limitations” caused by the government shutdown at BWI.

That short staffing combined with low traffic levels prompted the closure of the normally busy checkpoint A.

"It makes a difference in your travel schedule, got to plan more time, but there is nothing I can do about it except for the next election," traveler Duane Heist said.

The checkpoint reopened Monday morning, with most passengers moving through quickly. TSA reports Sunday's maximum wait time at BWI as 25 minutes. It was 17 minutes at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and 13 at Dulles International Airport. Perhaps the greatest toll, though, is being taken on the TSA workers themselves, as BWI announced a food drive for federal employees with the public encouraged to drop non perishable items off with airport police.

BWI released the following statement Monday:

"It is important to clarify that it is not unusual for TSA and BWI Marshall to open or close one of our security checkpoints supporting the Southwest Airlines Terminal based on projected travel levels, airline flight schedules, time of day and/or TSA staffing levels. This has been common practice for years and we will continue to manage security checkpoints in this manner to optimize efficiency and customer experience. This continued practice will have minimal, if any, impact on passengers and no impact on airport operations."
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