Travelers frustrated over FAA furloughs

Published On: Apr 24 2013 07:26:11 AM EDT
Cancelled flights
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

There are growing headaches over airport delays because of FAA furloughs and Florida Governor Rick Scott is now demanding the Obama administration address issues that are coming up with air traffic controllers.
     
Governor Scott said the way furloughs are being handled is not demonstrating leadership and so far, hasn't gotten a response from the president.

So far this week there has only been a handful of delays here at Jacksonville International Airport.

But at the bigger, major airports, the delays are mounting and so is people's anxiety, about getting to where they need to be on time.

The FAA warned Tuesday that unfortunately it's only going to get worse.

"When I travel for business, missing an important meeting because I'm late can be very detrimental to my career and paycheck," frequent flyer Gary Eiken said.

Eiken is on a plane every two weeks for a business related trip.

He's kept a close eye on the increase in delays and is worried he can no longer count on the airlines to get him to where he's going on time.

"Being in sales and trying to get that meeting with the decision makers is pretty important to me," Eiken said. "If I miss that meeting, that may be my last shot."

Travelers are facing more and more furlough-related delays every day.

The most affected airports in Florida are Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa and Miami. This is prompting politicians to point fingers, including Governor Scott.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown sides with the governor when it comes to worry that these delays will hurt Florida's tourism.

She says the problem stems from the way the sequestration has been implemented.

"When you look at it, in the first place you should give the secretaries the authority to make the decision," Congresswoman Brown said.  

According to Flightaware.com, 4,749 flights were delayed and 273 cancelled by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

For comparison, the flight tracker counted that all of Monday there were 6,760 delays and 333 cancellations.

The main problem is there are now fewer air traffic controllers on duty and because of this, some airports added more time between outgoing flights, stranding some planes on the runway for hours.

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