Over the Thanksgiving holiday, an estimated 20 million people will pass through United States airports.
But the fact that only 60% of the nation’s 50,000 TSA workers are vaccinated against COVID-19, raises questions about whether there will be enough TSA agents to keep them moving smoothly.
“I take my precautions, I don’t want to get sick,” said traveler Gabriel Pardo. “And whatever people want to do is okay with me.”
Traveler Daniel Roberts agrees on the health aspect, but worries about TSA workers being fired or quitting just as a crush of travellers are preparing to travel.
“That is something to take into consideration,” he said. “Not looking forward to that … hopefully they figure it out.”
The TSA director spoke on the Today Show saying, he doesn’t expect problems.
“We are going to be staffed enough to handle the surge,” said David Pekoske. “And I expect to have no impact whatsoever in respect to the vaccine.”
Aviation Consultant Mike McCarron says that’s partly true.
“I think, for the most part, in the Bay Area he’s probably accurate.Because we have a higher than average vaccination rate in the Bay Area,” said McCarron. “But when you get ready to come back home when the holiday is over. I don’t think some areas are going to be as highly vaccinated. So you might see lines at other airports.”
Still, with a November 22 deadline looming, the real fallout may not be known until the holiday is almost upon us.