LAX Security Wait Times Unaffected By Government Shutdown, TSA Absences - NBC Southern California

LAX Security Wait Times Unaffected By Government Shutdown, TSA Absences

A majority of passengers waited less than 15 minutes, despite many TSA workers being absent during the government shutdown.



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    Roadwork near LAX is expected to slow traffic. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

    What to Know

    • Passengers waited an average of 15 minutes at LAX

    • The TSA is experiencing a high number of employee absences.

    • Many TSA employees are still working despite not being paid during the government shutdown.

    Wait times at Los Angeles International Airport security lines appeared to be unaffected by the continuing partial government shutdown, which has prompted a higher-than-usual number absentee rate among Transportation Security Administration workers.

    Travelers at LAX waited in standard security lanes for an average of 17 minutes on Sunday, while TSA PreCheck customers averaged 4 minutes, according to the TSA.

    The wait times were on par with national averages on Sunday, when 1.78 million passengers screened by the TSA nationally.

    "Overall, 99.9 percent of passengers waited less than 30 minutes and 93.1 percent of passengers waited less than 15 minutes. In TSA PreCheck lanes, passengers on average waited less than five minutes," according to the TSA.

    Officials from Los Angeles World Airports confirmed that the shutdown is "not impacting any operations" at LAX.

    Although wait times have not been severely impacted, the "TSA experienced a national rate of 10 percent of unscheduled absences compared to 3.1 percent one year ago on the same weekend," according to the TSA. "Many employees are reporting that they are not able to report to work due to financial limitations."

    TSA employees are working without pay due to the continuing shutdown.

    While wait times at LAX did not seem to be impacted by the shutdown, some airports did experience wait times of more than 30 minutes on Sunday, including Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport at 45 minutes and Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport at 35 minutes. That was a 26- and 15-minute increase from Jan. 14 for each airport, respectively, when the national rate of unscheduled absences was 6.8 percent compared to a 2.5 percent rate on the same day the year prior.

    Wait times are available to the public on the MyTSA app, which are crowdsourced from passengers. According to the TSA website, "Wait times are kept for two hours from the time they are reported. If no one has reported within that time frame, wait times will not appear."

    If unavailable, travelers can also estimate their wait time on the app, which is based on historical data.

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