TSA foresees smooth holiday travel, despite larger crowds

Employees must be vaccinated by November 22
Posted at 5:46 AM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 08:18:32-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Thanksgiving week means a lot of people will be traveling, and the Transportation Security Administration is assuring people their trip to the airport will be smooth.

This all comes during a looming deadline for TSA staff to be vaccinated.

Data shows around 40% had either not received a single COVID-19 vaccine shot or not submitted their vaccination status. The deadline is Monday, November 22.

Experts fear a possible staff shortage could create the perfect storm across airports.

This year, they're expected to see up to 80% more travelers compared to last year, which are near pre-pandemic levels.

TSA officials said passengers should just plan to spend about 30 minutes in security lines. It's even less if you're a pre-check passenger.

"We will go through a progressive discipline policy with our unvaccinated employees... but we have a lot of employees who have requested medical or religious exemptions, so we'll go through the process of looking through each of the individual cases and make a determination in the next several weeks," said TSA administrator David Pekoske. "There is a potential if you do not have an approved exemption and you are not vaccinated that you will lose your job."

AAA said 4.2 million people will be flying this upcoming holiday weekend.