Busiest airport in US sees three-hour queues snaking around the terminal as government shutdown continues

And as one video shows, passengers are having to wait in enormous queues that snake around the terminal.

CNN reporter Omar Jimenez posted a video on Twitter of the long queues at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, revealing how it was snaking through a terminal.

The sped-up footage showed travellers cordoned off into lines that amounted to hundreds of people with the reporter adding that it was "may be the longest security line I have ever seen".

He said that one passenger had told him they had been waiting for over an hour to get through security and were still waiting.


Atlanta Airport, the busiest in the US, warned passengers to give themselves extra time before travelling due to longer queues at security.

They tweeted: "#ATL is experiencing longer than usual wait times during peak travel. Please plan ahead and give yourself 3 hours to clear security."

It is now the longest government shutdown in history with no signs of coming to an end, and some passengers have already missed flights due to delays at security check.

And with Transport Security Administration (TSA) agents already quitting across the country, many airports have been forced to close terminals due to a shortage.

Miami Airport closed a terminal early for three days last weekend, while Terminal B at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston was forced to close, according to The New York Times.

Airports in New York, and Washington have also faced long queues, despite TSA itself previously claiming that impact has been minimal.

TSA agents are said to be calling in sick at double the normal rate, having worked without pay since before Christmas.

Hydrick Thomas, TSA council president for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), said in a statement on the union website: "Every day I’m getting calls from my members about their extreme financial hardships and need for a paycheck.

"Some of them have already quit and many are considering quitting the federal workforce because of this shutdown."

Much longer queues at security, delayed flights and even problems with air traffic safety could all become a reality.

Mr Thomas explained how it posed a "massive security risk" as other workers such as Air Traffic Control were also affected.

Visitors to the US have been significantly impacted by the government shutdown since it started at the end of last year.

As well as ESTAs not being approved and national parks being shut, airports are also now seeing the effects of the shutdown.

Passengers travelling through airports have been warned to allow extra time to board their flight in case of long queues and delays.

Travellers on social media expressed their concerns surrounding the shutdown and how it could affect their plans while others said that they were being delayed.

Many were on the side of the TSA agents, saying they could not be expected to work without pay, especially when including travel and childcare costs.

Actor Seth Rogen even tweeted what a TSA agent told him after asking how he was: "Just working at the TSA, where dreams go to die," which quickly went viral.

According to the TSA, they once had 47,000 officers helping 740 million passengers a year – there are now 44,000 officers with 851 million passengers travelling through.

In 2014, just 373 people joined the agency while 4,644 left TSA.

However, TSA spokesman Michael Bilello told Politico another 500 new officers had started work last week.

The government shutdown started on December 22 following President Donald Trump's US-Mexico border dispute, with no signs of it ending as it enters its third week.

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