As a result of the ongoing debate over the budget, the U.S. could face yet another government shutdown. While this could affect many facets of life, especially in the public sector, a government shutdown would not necessarily disrupt air travel. However, it could make the experience of flying a lot more unpleasant.
The news of a potential government shutdown has already caused some to worry about how air travel would be affected. With the potential of airports facing staff reductions as a result of a possible shutdown, some fear that this could lead to flight delays, cancellations, and an overall disruption of airport operations.
However, the fact is that many essential services related to air travel would remain unaffected. Air Traffic Control centers, airport security, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would remain in operation. This means that the infrastructure of air travel would remain in place.
But even though the typical travel process itself wouldn’t be directly affected by the shutdown, the experience of traveling could be drastically different. This is because a government shutdown could lead to decreases in customer service staff, resulting in fewer people to help passengers with their ticketing and baggage needs. This could lead to long lines at the ticket counter, a backlog of checked bags waiting to be screened, and more travelers feeling frustrated over a lack of assistance.
In fact, during the government shutdown of 2013, the TSA had to cut back significantly on worker numbers, resulting in security wait times extending to two hours in various airports. Other government shutdowns in recent years have also led to similar levels of disruption.
In conclusion, a government shutdown would not necessarily stop air travel, but it could make it more frustrating and unpleasant for travelers. Airlines and airports should also be prepared for the potential of more lengthy security lines and delays. It is important for travelers to be aware of the potential disruptions they could face and plan their travel accordingly.