Flying somewhere today? Hurry up and wait at some major airports, including Los Angeles International, Miami, Chicago, Vegas and Tampa, thanks to air-traffic controllers being forced to take unpaid days off because of federal budget woes. At L.A., 15-minute “gate holds” of planes were being imposed Tuesday morning.
Check your flight before you go to the airport – no matter where you are flying – since delays can roll through the air-travel system. And check on the FAA flight-delay website. On Monday, 1,025 flights were delayed because of employee furloughs, said the FAA.
Here’s the word Tuesday morning from Laura J. Brown of the FAA:
“As a result of employee furloughs due to sequestration, the FAA is implementing traffic management initiatives at airports and facilities around the country. Travelers can expect to see a wide range of delays that will change throughout the day depending on staffing and weather related issues. For example, the FAA is experiencing staffing challenges at the Miami and Los Angeles En Route Centers, the Tampa TRACON, and Chicago O’Hare and Tampa Towers. Controllers will space planes farther apart so they can manage traffic with current staff, which will lead to delays at airports including Chicago O’Hare, Las Vegas and Tampa. The FAA also expects delays at a number of other airports because of weather and winds.
The FAA will continue to work with the airlines throughout the day to try and minimize delays for travelers. We encourage all travelers to check their flight status and also to visit fly.faa.gov for the latest airport delay information.
Yesterday more than 1,025 delays in the system were attributable to staffing reductions resulting from the furlough. There were more than 975 additional delays as a result of weather and other factors.”