ATLANTA -- Long delays in security lines today at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as more than half the security checkpoints were closed because of what the airport termed "staffing shortages.
With fewer than half of the 32 checkpoints open, lines backed up through the Atrium and down the hallways on both sides of the Terminal with wait times running well over an hour.
The Transportation Security Administration released a statement on Friday evening:
"While sequestration has had limited impact on Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint operations, we remain mindful of the importance of staffing to meet travel volume and providing efficient and effective screening. TSA is working to adjust its staffing models at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to more closely align with anticipated passenger volume during peak and off-peak travel periods and to reduce what recently have been uncharacteristically longer wait times."
The delays forced many passengers to miss flights and scramble to make alternate plans Airport General Manager Lewis Miller said he has never seen lines like this since first taking over the top airport job almost three years ago.
He blames the sequestration, and says that unless Congress acts to restore funds, the long delays could continue.
One passenger e-mailed 11Alive from the line saying he watched as TSA agents repeatedly asked a passenger the same question over-and-over, adding to the delay.
Miller is advising passengers to arrive at the airport as much as two-hours in advance and expect longer wait times.