As TSA agents go unpaid, Travis Scott and Kanye West songs are blasting through JFK's loud speakers

Business Insider | Jan 11, 2019, 05.14AM IST


Seth Wenig/AP

TSA agents have gone unpaid for weeks.

  • The sixth-busiest airport in the world is taking on an unusual vibe.
  • As TSA agents go unpaid, Travis Scott and Kanye West songs are blasting through JFK's loudspeakers, some passengers report on Twitter.
  • "We're living in a simulation," one passenger tweeted.

The US is currently facing the second-longest government shutdown ever.

Most of the effects have been unsavory. Some 800,000 federal workers are currently furloughed or working without pay until the shutdown ends. The Food and Drug Administration has ceased food inspections. And the 40 million Americans who receive SNAP benefits won't be able to use their food assistance by February, if the shutdown continues.

Lines at airports nationwide have also become incredibly long as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees call in sick at work and go unpaid. Air-traffic controllers have also gone unpaid since Dec. 22.

Read more: The government shutdown is being blamed for turning TSA lines in a New York airport into a 'mad house'

There's one little-known effect of the shutdown that has turned things up at New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport. Loudspeakers have been blasting music that's not the typical, milquetoast offerings at the nation's sixth-busiest airport.

Multiple passengers flying out of JFK have shared on Twitter that they've heard the uncensored versions of "SICKO MODE" by Travis Scott featuring Drake. Such sentiments weren't shared before the government shutdown began on Dec. 22.

Other unusual song choices have been reported on Twitter at JFK's eight terminals, which host of more than 29 million departures a year.

Because these reports didn't start before the government shut down, it seems that these abnormal choices were made by TSA employees, who have gone unpaid for weeks.

A spokesperson from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates JFK Airport, told Business Insider that TSA employees have discretion over the music at some terminals, while airline employees choose songs at other terminals.

The American Federation of Government Employees did not immediately respond to Business Insider's inquiry.

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