Alaska, Delta, warn of flight delays caused by federal budget cuts

Alaska, Delta, warn of flight delays caused by federal budget cuts

Credit: Mike di Donato/ KTVB

This file photo shows a Delta jet at the Boise Airport

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by KTVB, KING5, and Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on April 21, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 22 at 10:12 AM

BOISE -- Both Delta and Alaska Airlines have issued travel advisories warning of flight delays caused by government budget cuts and employee furloughs.

Alaska Airlines estimates the largest impact would be seen by customers traveling to, from or through:

  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles

Meanwhile, Delta has also issued an advisory warning of delays at the following airports:

  • New York-LaGuardia
  • New York-JFK
  • Newark Liberty
  • Philadelphia
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Chicago O'Hare
  • Chicago Midway
  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • San Diego

Customers are encouraged to check flight statuses at Alaska and Delta before leaving for the airport.

You can check the status of flights at Boise's airport here.

Information from the FAA and others showed that flying Sunday was largely uneventful, with most flights on time. There were delays in parts of Florida, but those were caused by thunderstorms.

SOME DELAYS SUNDAY

Mark Duell at the flight tracking website FlightAware said that John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in New York indicated delays due to lower staffing starting late Sunday evening. JFK averaged 70-minute delays for inbound flights, but no detectable departure delays. LaGuardia averaged 74-minute delays for inbound flights, and departure delays of 37 minutes.

The FAA website said that flights from Philadelphia and Orlando, Fla.,  into John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Westchester County airports were delayed due to staffing issues.

The trade group Airlines for America, which represents the airlines and had predicted a big traffic snarl, said Sunday evening that it was "not seeing a significant impact at this point." A spokeswoman said the group would continue to monitor the situation, and urged flyers to stay in contact with their airlines.

THOUSANDS OF EMPLOYEES FURLOUGHED

Government budget cuts that kicked in last month are forcing the FAA and other agencies to cut their spending. FAA officials have said they have no choice but to furlough all 47,000 agency employees, including nearly 15,000 controllers. Each employee will lose one day of work every other week. The FAA has said that planes will have to take off and land less frequently, so as not to overload the remaining controllers on duty.

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