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TSA Approves Day’s Pay, Holiday Bonus for Unpaid Agents



The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will compensate screening agents with one day’s pay and holiday travel season bonuses amid the ongoing partial government shutdown, the agency’s administrator announced Friday.

Three weeks into the shutdown, David Pekoske announced that all TSA employees who worked December 22 will receive pay for that day no later than Tuesday.

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What’s more, uniformed screening officers who worked during the busy holiday travel season will receive $500 bonuses in the coming days.

“In addition to this, I have approved awards of $500 for each uniformed screening officer, in recognition of their hard work during yet another busy holiday travel season, maintaining the highest of security standards during an extraordinary period,” Pekoske tweeted, attributing the decision to “unique authorities provided TSA in law.”

“There is an outpouring of industry and public admiration and appreciation for all you’ve done and will continue to do. The nation needs you—stay focused and take care of one another,” he concluded.

Hundreds of TSA employees at several major airports have called out from their shifts since the shutdown began last month, with Miami International Airport airlines/miami-airport-closing-terminal-early-due-to-government-shutdown.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow”>recently closing a terminal as a result.

Meanwhile, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) airlines/air-traffic-controllers-association-suing-federal-government.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow”>filed a lawsuit against the federal government Friday over being forced to work without pay.

TSA has disputed reports of callouts. However, the union representing TSA workers said the shutdown was leading some to quit.

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IATA: Damage to Air Travel Will Extend Into 2023



Any comeback by the beleaguered airline industry will extend into 2023, according to new data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airlines’ main trade group.

Long-haul travel will continue to lag behind and passenger fears about flying in general will contribute to the delay, Lonely Planet reported.

IATA estimates that passenger traffic won’t rebound to pre-crisis levels until at least 2023. It expects that global passenger demand in 2021 will be 24 percent below 2019 levels and 32 percent lower than the forecast the association made in October 2019.

The new data is based on a slower opening of economies and relaxation of travel restrictions. Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders could return if the virus comes back strong in the fall and winter with a second wave, as some health officials have predicted.

In addition, another contributing factor is quarantine measures that have been instituted by various countries as well as individual states in the U.S. According to IATA, 69 percent of recent travelers that it surveyed said they would not consider traveling if it involved a 14-day quarantine period once they arrive at their destination. IATA is asking governments to find alternatives to the quarantine measures.

Of course, all of this is contingent upon the public’s willingness to fly—and instilling confidence in that will take time, said IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

“To protect aviation’s ability to be a catalyst for the economic recovery, we must not make that prognosis worse by making travel impracticable with quarantine measures,” he said. “We need a solution for safe travel that addresses two challenges. It must give passengers the confidence to travel safely and without undue hassle, and it must give governments confidence that they are protected from importing the virus.”

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