TSA Checkpoints Close Amid COVID Outbreak, Adding To Travel Woes 

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jan 07, 2022 - 10:40 PM

Besides airline crews calling out sick and inclement weather canceling nearly 20,000 flights since Christmas Eve, travelers now have to contend with the closure of security checkpoints at airports. 

Traveling by air has been an absolute nightmare this past holiday season. It could worsen as staffing issues tied to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in two Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint closures at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. 

"Beginning at 4 a.m. Jan, 7, the B & D Security Checkpoints in Terminal 4 will be closed. A & C will remain open. Wait times for non-PreCheck passengers could be up to 30 minutes & passengers should plan their arrivals accordingly," Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport tweeted.

The temporary closure of the security checkpoints should increase wait times for travelers entering the airport. 

"We are monitoring this closely, and this situation only seems to affect Phoenix Sky Harbor for now," R. Carter Langston, TSA spokesman, said in a statement.

"Communities and transportation systems have been hard hit by increasing COVID infections, and we continue to encourage those who are ill to stay home and get tested. Compliance with the federal face mask requirement, social distancing, and checkpoint modifications remain in place for those who choose to travel," Langston added. 

At the moment, 3,300 employees or about 5% of TSA staff have been infected by the virus. It appears Phoenix Sky Harbor is the only US airport so far that has closed security checkpoints due to staffing issues. Are more closures imminent?