How a government shutdown could impact your travel plans

WKYT News at 10:00pm (CW)
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 9:00 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The looming possibility of a government shutdown hangs over the heads of travelers at the Bluegrass Airport.

“It’s going to affect me, affect my business and affect how much money I make for my family. But what can I do about it?” said one traveler, Dr. Clay Frank.

Aviation workers like air traffic controllers and TSA officers are federal employers, so they’ll continue working through a shutdown. But they’ll be working without pay.

“We have finally seen cancellations and delays get back down to normal levels. But a shutdown would stop all of that progress,” said US Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg.

And as we saw during the last shutdown in 2019, the fatigue and low morale could lead to employees calling out. And therefore, more delays and much longer security lines.

For those like Clay Frank who travel for work every few days, this could be bad for his business.

“Worrying about a government shutdown is a lot like worrying about whether my airplane’s going to be late. There’s nothing I can do about it. I just have to roll with it. If I get a cancellation, it means I get a day off work and I don’t particularly like it,” Dr. Frank said.

Those with AAA said the best advice they can offer travelers is to constantly check on your flight’s status online. And if you are worried, go ahead and get to the airport at least a couple of hours early.

“If there are delays, you need to change your plans, anything like that, that you have time to do so and aren’t running up right up against your travel time,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins with AAA.

And as always, make sure you pack your patience.

The potential shutdown could also impact our national forests. Those with Daniel Boone National Forest said every shutdown is different, but for now, they are funded through midnight on Saturday, September 30th.

They said notify the public as soon as possible if they have to make any changes to their regular operations.