Last updated: 12:58 AM ET, Wed March 20 2013

TSA Furloughs Forestalled But Agency Warns Travelers of Long Wait Times

Features & Advice Transportation Security Administration Gretchen Kelly March 14, 2013

Stacy Bodtmann, regional vice president for the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) union, the American Federation of Government Employees, stated at an AFGE news conference on March 13, that the furloughs the media and government officials are warning about will not yet affect TSA staffers. 

Bodtmann said the agency would instead rely on hiring freezes and overtime hours to satisfy sequestration cuts for the time being. These hiring freezes will mean that the agency will have about 2,600 vacancies at the end of the fiscal year. 

But Bodtmann says, “Travelers beware: TSA depends on overtime to keep their lines running. That's going to further delay the traveling public."

Although the dreaded furloughs have been forestalled, the TSA is not optimistic about sequestration’s effect on the traveling public.  The agency is telling the media that with TSA staffing levels decreasing over time, they expect wait times exceeding 30 to 40 minutes which could double at nearly all of the largest airports during busy travel times.