Travelers may want to brace for even longer waits at the airport.
Over the past year, the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the travel industry, especially when it comes to air travel. Now, as more Americans are getting vaccinated and are ready to hit the skies again, some general are starting to experience new problems.
Staffing issues with the TSA caused security checkpoint lines to back up at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state earlier this week, News Tribune reports. The lines reportedly became so long that they backed up into the airport’s garage.
According to the news outlet, the weekly number of travelers has been rising but is still below its pre-COVID numbers.
One seemingly frustrated traveler shared a video of the line this past Sunday to Twitter, which shows a massive amount of people standing in the building’s parking garage. The author of the tweet described the situation as “out of this world.”
The official Seattle-Tacoma International Twitter account responded to the post, writing, “We appreciate travelers hanging in there at security checkpoint lines as we are experiences challenges with TSA staffing. Our apologies for the jam, but thanks for packing your patience!”
In an interview with a local news outlet, airport spokesman Perry Cooper said, “We’ve had three days in the last week and a half going back to Monday [April 5] and then this last weekend — Saturday and Sunday — we had situations where we had waits that were into the garage and over 60 minutes.”
Aside from staffing issues, the checkpoint lines are also being impacted by the fact that the TSA can only open a certain number of lanes to promote social distancing.
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Airports aren’t the only businesses suffering from staffing issues.
Fox News recently reported about a viral video on Tiktok that showed a sign posted at a McDonald’s drive-thru telling customers to be patient. According to the sign, the restaurant is having staffing issues because “no one wants to work anymore.”