“The shutdown is impacting many aspects of visitor experience in the U.S.”, says The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.
“All we can do from here is monitor the situation daily, and recommend that air travellers allow more time to complete security. It’s also important that travellers manage their expectations when it comes to accessing national parks, national monuments and historic sites”, said Hosper.
According to a press release regarding activity undertaken on 18 January, the TSA screened 2.27 million passengers, 99.7% of whom waited less than 30 minutes. 91.2% of all passengers waited less than 15 minutes.
TSA is still managing wait times but, according to a Travel Market Report, TSA’s absentee rate is increasing and a number of airports across the country have been forced to close checkpoints in order to consolidate the staff that are working.
On 15 January, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recalled 3,600 safety inspectors and engineers who had been furloughed because of the shutdown, “to ensure continuous operational safety of the entire national airspace.”
“We expect corporate travellers heading to the U.S. to work closely with their TMC to ensure all safety precautions are in place, so that business travel can carry on with minimal disruption”, advises Hosper.
For the latest news from the TSA, CLICK HERE.
National Parks, Museums & Historic Sites
To find out if a specific national park is open or closed, look up its individual page at the National Parks Service website, call the official phone number listed for it.
According to time.com (14 January), even at national parks that are open, it is likely that many visitor centres, campgrounds, and other facilities will be closed, and activities like guided tours and ranger-led talks cancelled.
However, the vast majority of museums and cultural centres in the U.S. are funded and operated independent of the U.S. federal government — so, expect these museums to be open to visitors during the shutdown.
The one major exception applies to visitors hoping to hit some of the most popular museums in Washington, D.C., (and New York City): All 19 of the Smithsonian museums and galleries, as well as the National Zoo — which all get some funding from federal appropriations — are closed during the government shutdown.
Airlines have also been impacted.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said that it would lose about $25 million in revenue in January because fewer people—mostly government contractors and employees—are travelling during the shutdown.
United CEO Oscar Munoz said his airline has not yet seen a ‘significant’ impact on bookings because of the shutdown, but told CNBC this week that “the longer this goes, of course there’s going to be impact, and we do worry about that.”
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