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Will There Be an Airport Holiday Staffing Mess? The TSA Updates the Situation | Frommer's  

Will There Be an Airport Holiday Staffing Mess? The TSA Updates the Situation

The Biden administration has announced that 90% of the federal workers who were required to be vaccinated by November 22 have now received at least one dose.

What's more, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had an even higher rate of compliance: 93% of its staff has gotten the jab.

Federal workers who remained unvaccinated were at risk of being removed from their posts.

So I am happy—and surprised—to report that we are not likely to suffer the staffing train wreck at airport security that, as Forbes predicted, could "put a fork in Thanksgiving Weekend air travel."

On November 22, Marsha Espinosa of the Department of Homeland Security tweeted that "98% of @CBP [Customs and Border Protection] and nearly 93% of @TSA employees are in compliance with the vaccine and exemption requirements. There aren't going to be any disruptions to holiday travel from the vaccination requirement."

So is this your excuse to waltz into the airport an hour before your holiday season flight?

Um, no.

There's still weather to consider. While the storms that were forecast for parts of the United States this week are now predicted to manifest as rain rather than as snow events, huge numbers of people are still heading to the airport, and after so many months of diminished traffic, that could cause bottlenecks.

In fact, I recently wrote a piece on not only which day will be craziest at the 10 busiest airports in the U.S. but also which hours are expected to be roughest.

Be smart. Plan to arrive three hours before your flight, and keep your phone charged just in case you need to use it to talk to an airline rep about rescheduling your flight.