Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport now has some of the longest waiting times at security lines in the country.
That's according to daily statistics provided by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) during the federal government shutdown, which has left its employees unpaid since it started on Dec. 22.
On Monday, the national absence rate among TSA employees was 10 percent, compared to just 3.1 percent on the same day a year ago, as increasingly more security officers are finding it impossible to work unpaid.
Meanwhile, the wait times for travelers going through MSP Airport have been particularly long over the past six days.
Here's the average wait time at security at MSP since Wednesday, and where this ranked out of the 42 largest U.S. airports.
- Jan. 16: 24 minutes (joint-5th longest wait); TSA Pre-check 5 minutes.
- Jan. 17: 36 minutes (2nd longest wait); TSA Pre-check 5 minutes.
- Jan. 18: 28 minutes (joint-6th longest wait); TSA Pre-check 18 minutes (longest wait).
- Jan. 19: 41 minutes (longest wait); TSA Pre-check 13 minutes (2nd longest wait)
- Jan 20: 35 minutes (2nd longest wait, second to New Orleans on NFC Championship game day); TSA Pre-check 10 minutes (2nd longest wait)
The long lines at MSP Airport were initially put down to MLK Day weekend, a busy time for travel that proved particularly bad on Saturday, when Delta operated a number of extra charter flights to warmer destinations.
MSP Airport also told BMTN that there had been TSA understaffing issues unrelated to the shutdown, which on Saturday saw the TSA hold a hiring event at the Twin Cities airport that was extremely well attended.
Nonetheless, it now appears as though the shutdown is starting to bite at MSP, with TSA federal security director for Minnesota, Cliff Van Leuven, telling the Star Tribune that MSP officers "are now starting to deal with the realities of life without pay and dealing with child care decisions."
On the plus side, one of the few social media posts we've seen about MSP on Tuesday morning suggests the lines aren't so bad today.