Airports and travel are always stressful, from baggage check to security, there is always a line that needs to be stood in or a problem that is waiting to occur. Now, Canadians have even longer lines and bigger waits to deal with if they are traveling to the United States, and it’s all Donald Trump's fault.
Air Canada is advising customers that are traveling to the United States to arrive at airports three hours before their flights in order to have time to be processed with the slower than normal U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.
These delays that Canadians are facing while dealing with U.S. travel is due to the government shut down that is happening in the United States right now. Since the shutdown has started on December 21, over 51,000 TSA agents have been working without pay.
CNN reported that hundreds of agents have been calling in sick the last week since they have stopped getting paid and the TSA has released a statement confirming that the number of sick days which have been claimed over the holiday period has increased.
Air Canada advises customers travelling to the U.S. that they arrive at Canadian airports three hours prior to their scheduled departure time due processing times of customers by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.— Air Canada (@AirCanada) January 4, 2019
Rudy Garcia, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, told NBC news about the issue, “If you don’t have a check to pay your bills, what are you going to do? You will look for something outside of what you are doing right now,”.
According to NBC News, many TSA employees are calling in sick to look for other jobs to pay for their bills since their income has come to a sudden halt.
Are you travelling with us this evening? Operations are normal. If you're travelling to 🇺🇸 we recommend you arrive 3 hours before departure. Also, please check your flight status with your carrier before leaving for the airport: https://t.co/YwSD1v1djG— Toronto Pearson (@TorontoPearson) January 6, 2019
The lack of employees that are showing up to their jobs is creating a shortage of staff which could delay wait times while checking into U.S. customs. Toronto Pearson recently reached out about the issue as well, stating that, “If you are traveling to the U.S we recommend you arrive 3 hours before your departure,”.
Despite these delays and staff shortages, TSA ensures that the security and standards of U.S. borders will not be compromised and screening wait times will remain in standards with the TSA regulations.
The next pay cheque is supposed to reach the hands of TSA agents on January 15, but if the government shut down continues it could encourage more TSA agents to call in sick and more delays for Canadians while traveling.
Source: Global News