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March 24, 2019

TSA security checkpoint and ticketing counter close in Houston airport due to shutdown-induced staffing shortage

January 14, 2019
A Transportation Security Administration agent runs checked baggage through a X-ray machine at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. (Brett Coomer / AP)

Houston has a problem, and it’s one that could soon spread to other airports.

Shutdown-induced staffing shortages have forced the Terminal B ticketing counter and TSA security checkpoint at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport to close for the day, the airport announced.

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The checkpoint closed at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday “and will remain closed for the rest of the day,” an airport spokesman told the New York Daily News. “Flights will operate as normal but passengers will have to check in and go through security checkpoints in Terminal C or Terminal E.”

The closure is “due to staffing issues associated with the partial shutdown of the federal government,” the airport said in a statement.

Passengers arriving for domestic flights at Terminal B are being redirected to TSA-staffed security checkpoints and ticketing counters in the other two terminals, after which they’ll have to hightail it back to their departure gate via the airport’s automated Skyway “people mover” or the underground train known as the Subway.

“Flights scheduled to depart from Terminal B will operate as normal,” the airport said in a statement. “Passengers are encouraged to arrive early and give themselves extra time to check in for their flights and to clear the security checkpoints.”

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Houston may be the first airport to do this, TSA spokesman Tom Kelly told The News.

“We at TSA and local leadership works with state coordinators at all airports to best serve the airport,” he said. “So they’re working with them and evaluating the situation as the weekend unfolds.”

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