FareCompare does not doubt you are always a respectful and courteous traveler but we are also aware some are not (and stories of passenger meltdowns are legion). But there’s a good reason to be especially polite if traveling in the next few days. Many of the people working to speed you safely on your way are not getting paid.
Unpaid Transportation Workers
The government shutdown is certainly keeping Beltway talking heads in business, but it’s also put a lot of other people out of business – on unwanted vacations called furloughs. And many of those who remain on the job are not getting paid. These include the following, according to a variety of news reports:
How are they doing? OK for now, it seems – but there is concern about how long a shutdown could last and the mood, according to one government employee we spoke with is, “increasingly anxious.”
For those who will be traveling overseas and may need a passport, the good news is these people are on the job and offices are open. The bad news is, “If a passport agency is located in a government building affected by a lapse in appropriations, the facility may become unsupported.” Unsupported is government-speak for “closed.” If you need a passport, do not wait (and this is good advice any time).
So, Be Nice
Maybe you’re not crazy about today’s security rituals or had a terrible experience with the TSA, but it may help to remember that the officers you encounter did not write the rules. And they’re not getting paid – at least for now.
They will, eventually, according to the media. But that’s probably not a whole lot of comfort in the meantime if the rent is due or the college tuition has to be paid.