Mandatory spending cuts will impact air travelers in the coming weeks.
The sequestration includes a hiring freeze for the Transportation Security Administration, and cuts that eliminate overtime for border agents and some TSA agents.
While there hasn't been an immediate delay at Sea-Tac Airport, by Memorial Weekend the TSA expects to have 1,000 unfilled job vacancies, just in time for the busy travel season.
TSA Statement on Sequestration:
As sequestration takes effect, travelers can expect to see lines and wait times increase as reductions to overtime and the inability to backfill positions for attrition begin to occur this month. While wait times can vary on a number of factors, due to the reductions mandated by sequestration, TSA will put in place a hiring freeze, which will result in up to an additional 1,000 TSO vacancies by Memorial Day Weekend and up to 2,600 vacancies by the end of the fiscal year. With TSA staffing levels decreasing over time, we expect that during busy travel periods wait times exceeding 30-40 minutes could double at nearly all of the largest airports. In addition, passengers who schedule their travel outside of peak flight schedules and plan to arrive close to their scheduled flight time may see their wait times now reach 30 minutes or more.