Security checkpoint at Bush Airport closed due to TSA staffing shortage

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

HOUSTON - A security and ticketing checkpoint at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport was closed Sunday afternoon due to a staffing shortage of Transportation Security Administration employees.

TSA employees are currently working without pay due to the government shutdown which on Saturday became the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

According to a tweet from the airport's account, travelers are being diverted to Terminal C or E.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner posted a screenshot of the airport's tweet and advised travelers to get to the airport two hours before their flight, saying, "shortage of TSA workers, unpaid during the US gov’t shutdown, is causing this change."

Terminal B, according to Turner, services United flights.

Houston Airports released the following statement to KSAT's sister station in Houston, KPRC 2:

"Due to staffing issues associated with the partial shutdown of the federal government, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoint and the ticketing counter in Terminal B at George Bush Intercontinental Airport closed at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, and will remain closed the rest of the day.

"Flights scheduled to depart from Terminal B will operate as normal. Passengers with flights scheduled to depart from Terminal B are being directed to the ticket counters and TSA checkpoints located in Terminal C and Terminal E. 

"Passengers are encouraged to arrive early and give themselves extra time to check in for their flights and to clear the security checkpoints. For passengers flying out of Terminal B, once checked in passengers can walk or take the Skyway tram to Terminal B to reach their departing gate. Passengers can utilize the interactive terminal map available on to help navigate their way back to Terminal B. That information can be found at this link."

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