For many Americans, traveling is a necessary part of life. Unfortunately, a government shutdown could have an adverse effect on air travelers, leaving them stranded at the airport if the situation is not remedied quickly. Understanding why a government shutdown could be disruptive to travelers is an important first step in avoiding potential complications. The Office of Management and Budget often issues emergency furloughs when Congress fails to pass a budget, and these furloughs can force key federal employees to be placed on unpaid leave. From the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), many vital workers involved in air travel could be impacted by a government shutdown, leading to a chaotic environment for passengers. A government shutdown could create a domino effect throughout airport systems and lead to havoc on the ground. Not only would delayed and cancelled flights be significantly more common, but the security checks which passengers are already used to could understandably be more extensive during a stressful time like this. Furthermore, with fewer TSA employees on the job, long lines are likely to form at security checkpoints, accompanied by sometimes frustrating wait times. While it may be tempting to show up to the airport early if you’re nervous about making your flight on time, this may not be the best course of action during a government shutdown. Instead, it’s best to stay updated on flight times before you plan to depart, as well as on news concerning the budget. The bottom line is that airline travelers may need to practice extra caution during a government shutdown and be prepared for less amenities as well as less efficient security screenings. While everyone hopes for an effective resolution to the budget situation, travelers should still be properly informed and prepared for a potential slow-down in the airport system.