TSA hit by shutdown

Airports last week were girding for disruptions if the partial government shutdown continued and Transportation Security Administration officers missed their first paycheck. The 51,739 TSA officers are considered essential to security and were ordered to continue reporting for duty even though funding for their agency was halted. In recent days the screeners called in sick in growing numbers, according to the agency. The sick calls contributed to longer wait times at unspecified airports, but major disruptions had not been reported so far, said Christopher Bidwell, a senior vice president for security at the Airports Council International-North America. “We’re concerned that a prolonged government shutdown could potentially impact security and wait times at airports,” Bidwell said. Airports were conducting talks with local TSA managers about finding ways to bolster staffing.

Bloomberg News

Tip your flight attendant? 

Frontier Airlines is trying something new to generate extra money for its flight attendants: tips they don’t have to share. On the Denver-based low-cost carrier, passengers who order food and drinks from a digital tablet have the option of giving the flight attendant a tip. Since the tablets were introduced three years ago, flight attendants have had to share the tips with their fellow flight attendants. But as of Jan. 1, flight attendants can keep the tips they make from those sales. The change was made at the request of flight attendants, Frontier spokesman Jonathan Freed said. But the Association of Flight Attendants, representing 50,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines, including Frontier, opposes tipping, saying flight attendants are responsible for safety and security on the plane and their service shouldn’t be based on how much a passenger tips them.

Los Angeles Times

Victorian celebration

In 2019, the Victorian Era will be again celebrated throughout Britain as the country honors the 200th anniversary of the queen’s birth. Start at London’s Kensington Palace, Victoria’s birthplace, where a new exhibition opens May 24, the date the future queen was born in 1819. The preserved suite that Victoria and her mother, the Duchess of Kent, once occupied will be filled with new interactive displays and objects never before seen by the public. Meanwhile, National Trust Tours has created a 10-day Queen Victoria 200 trip that features important landmarks, including Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey and the chapel where she married Prince Albert ($4,950 a person). Also, PBS has compiled a list of the filming locations from its popular British import, “Victoria,” so fans can head to Yorkshire and see many of the coastal towns, gardens and estates featured in the show.

New York TImes

Save on NYC restaurants, plays, museums

Bargains abound in New York with a trio of specials running from Jan. 21 through Feb. 10. For NYC Restaurant Week, pay $26 for two-course lunches and $42 for three-course dinners at such participating restaurants as DB Bistro Moderne and Momofuku Nishi. With NYC Broadway Week and Must-See Week, score two-for-one tickets at such shows as “Dear Evan Hanson” and “The Cher Show” and two-for-one admission at such attractions as the Guggenheim museum (normally $25 each) and Tour at NBC Studios ($33). (Info: nycgo.com/nyc-winter-outing).

Washington Post