TODAY   |  May 12, 2013

More airport delays on the horizon?

Officials at Atlanta’s airport, the world's busiest, are warning of major delays at security checkpoints this week. They're blaming staffing cuts due to the sequester, and some are concerned those delays could reach other airports. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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>>> if you are set to fly home after maybe visiting your mom for mother's day this weekend, you may want to give yourself a little extra time . officials at the world's busiest airport , the one in atlanta , are warning of major delays at their security checkpoints, and blame it on staffing cuts due to the good-ole sequester. as gabe gutierrez, that might have a ripple effect .

>> reporter: today, delta air lines is warning atlanta customers of potential security checkpoint delays.

>> please keep moving across.

>> reporter: after lines snaked through the airport on friday. wait times over an hour.

>> we came past baggage claim and saw a line there and were curious what's going on.

>> i guess it's because of the sequester, but i've never come to board a flight and had to be in the lobby and wait literally, start my line there before i can get to check-in.

>> reporter: hartfield-jackson is the world's busiest airport with 45,000 domestic passengers on an average day. on friday, the start of mother's day weekend, there were 55,000. there are normally 22 security checkpoint lanes at the airport, but on friday, airport officials say only 13 were open. and they're blaming the staffing shortage on the sequester. congress recently eliminated the cutbacks to the faa's air traffic controllers .

>> charlie bravo --

>> reporter: but cuts to the tsa are still in effect prompting overtime freezing. the tsa says it's working to adjust its staffing models in atlanta , but could the delays soon extend elsewhere?

>> we will start to see it happen at other airports -- jfk, chicago, dulles, los angeles -- so i think this is the beginning.

>> reporter: not what sharida willis wants to hear.

>> i missed my flight, so i have to get a connecting flight.

>> reporter: officials are urging here and other travelers here to arrive at least 90 minutes before their flight. for "today," gabe gutierrez, nbc news, atlanta .