"While I realize this is not what you are owed for your hard work during pay period 26 and what you deserve, I hope these actions alleviate some of the financial hardship many of you are facing", wrote Pekoske.
Friday marks the first day screeners will miss a paycheck, and airport spokesman Greg Chin said there's a concern there won't be enough workers to handle all 11 checkpoints during normal hours over the weekend. This has resulted in a number of its staff calling out of work.
"This morning, TSA experienced a national rate of 5.6 percent unscheduled absences compared to a 3.3 percent rate one year ago, Saturday, January 13, 2018".
There were no visible protests from employees, and passengers said there was no impact on wait times.
Transportation Security Administration agents are among the 420,000 federal workers across the country who are expected to work without pay.
Miami International Airport expects to shut a security checkpoint in Concourse G after 1 p.m. Saturday through Monday, and travelers will be directed to other checkpoints.
"TSA Officers already have the least amount of rights of any federal officer, some of the lowest pay and highest attrition rates in government, and among the lowest morale of any federal agency". The suit also claims the FAA didn't promptly pay overtime to union members, an oversight the union said is also in violation of regulations. They should show up in TSA employees' accounts in the next few days. He declined to say how many inspectors are working, but union officials believe it's about 100.
At New York's LaGuardia Airport, fliers had to wait in almost hour-long security lines on Sunday. "Many of our officers do work paycheck-to-paycheck, and many of our officers are single parents".
Brad Boettcher, with Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, said those issues haven't popped up locally. Airports in San Francisco and Kansas City already do that, with approval from the Transportation Department.
One XNA passenger said he is concerned after his experience going through security at Los Angeles International Airport when flying back to Northwest Arkansas Friday evening. Most dropped the idea after TSA's performance improved.
The Airport Authority plans to continue providing the lunches on Fridays to federal workers until the government is reopen.
Tampa International Airport is working with different agencies to set up a food pantry, get bus passes and work with utilities to help hundreds of federal employees who may be struggling to pay bills.