"But if people are furloughed and some are on vacation or sick days, we might have seven or eight lanes," she said. "There will be less people on the floor. When there's a push of passengers, you would feel that."
Marsha Catron, a TSA spokeswoman, said travelers "will likely not see immediate impacts" from the cuts.
But if they continue, the hiring freeze would create 1,000 vacancies by Memorial Day and an additional 1,600 by September. During busy travel periods, passengers traveling at non-peak hours could spend 30 minutes getting through security. During peak times, the wait may hit more than an hour, she said.
Agencies say they already have reduced travel and training, put off contracts and frozen hiring.
At the National Park Service, the only thing remaining are people, spokeswoman Carol Johnson said. "It's visitor service. We educate the public. There's nothing left to cut."
The National Mall in Washington will lose $1.7 million from its $32 million budget. This is unlikely to hinder the upcoming Cherry Blossom Festival, which is largely privately funded. But it will mean fewer portable toilets and park police and less ground maintenance for thousands of other special events on the Mall, from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington in August, Johnson said.
Many of these are staffed through seasonal employees and overtime, which hit $770,000 for the Mall last year and now will have to be scaled back.
"We're not talking about overtime for the sake of overtime," Johnson said. "We do not have a lot of fat to begin with."