By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Rolling into an airport can sometimes feel like a one-way to ticket to being stressed.

“We had a rental car, we had to drop off car seats, we have kids, you know they could explode at any moment so you gotta get in as fast as you can,” said traveler Matthew Nowachek as he passed through Terminal 2 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

It makes the little things, like no line at a TSA security checkpoint, that much sweeter. That was the case Monday evening.

“When we walked over here and I saw that there are not a lot of people, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, that’s really good,’ because then I don’t have to worry about missing my flight,” said traveler Alina Jackel.

Over the weekend, there were times when the Terminal 2 security checkpoint line snaked all the way through the ropes and down a long hallway. People reported waiting up to an hour just to get through the checkpoint.

“I would be super stressed. Like my heart would be pumping,” Jackel said.

That’s likely what some felt at LaGuardia Airport where lines also backed up.

The TSA stated it’s not a result of employees calling in sick because they aren’t being paid due to the partial government shutdown, rather the tail end of the busy holiday travel season and peak times at the airport.

It released a statement saying that 99.8 percent of travelers Sunday waited less than 30 minutes in line, and 90 percent waited under 15 minutes.

An MSP spokesperson says the TSA has had trouble recruiting new screeners for job vacancies. However, it’s an issue going back months before the shutdown.

Meanwhile, the men and women who continue to put on their blue uniform and screen passengers do so without a paycheck.

“The fact that they’re doing that without any promises is fantastic. I think it says a lot about the American spirit,” Nowachek said.

Jeff Wagner

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