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Why Thanksgiving travel could be more of a hassle this year

All federal employees, including the TSA, are now required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But only about 60% of TSA employees are currently vaccinated.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thanksgiving travel could be even more of a hassle this year.

Let's connect the dots.

Right now airports are seeing staffing issues across nearly every position. One of the places most in need of workers? Airport security. And those lines could get even longer starting next month.

All federal employees, including the TSA, are now required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But only about 60% of TSA employees are currently vaccinated.

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And the deadline for them to roll up their sleeve is Nov. 22, which is just three days before Thanksgiving.

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The head of the TSA said he is "very hopeful" this won't lead to a shortage of airport screeners for the holiday. But he does admit they are working on a backup plan in case a large part of their workforce is suddenly off the job.

And Many airlines are also weighing the same issue. American and Southwest are currently backing up plans to punish unvaccinated employees saying they won't be fired or suspended right away.

So what should you do if you're traveling this turkey day? Show up at the airport with several hours to spare. And try to travel as early in the week as you can, that way you have some wiggle room if something goes wrong.

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