Flight delays at MYR caused by air traffic control furloughs
Mon, 22 Apr 2013 21:49:06 GMT —
Get ready for longer waits at the airport. Travelers across the country are seeing their flights delayed as the result of federal budget cuts.
Some flights from Myrtle Beach were backed up Monday, the first full weekday of the furloughs to air traffic controllers.
Many visitors to Myrtle Beach in April are golfers from the greater New York City area, where some of Monday's flights were being held up.
Travelers headed to Newark say they were told to expect 20 minute delays.
"Unfortunately, as we know 20 minutes sometimes becomes two hours and then it becomes a problem, so if it's 20 minutes, I can deal with it," said Andrew Ciniluca of Saddle Brook, New Jersey.
The flight tracking website Flightaware.com showed that some of the worst delays caused by high traffic volume were in Newark and Washington DC.
Flights from Myrtle Beach to Atlanta did not seem to be seriously impacted, though travelers who had stopovers in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport prepared for the worst.
"I tried not to fly that way. I tried to go through Charlotte, thinking that would be a little bit better, but this was the way I got," said Judy Sporka of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Federal budget cuts known as the sequester required the Federal Aviation Administration to chop $600 million from its budget.
The agency gave furloughs of up to one day every two weeks to 47,000 of its employees, including air traffic controllers.
That led to the traffic back-ups that for business people can be more than just an inconvenience.
"Some of us have certain things to do once we get back, so that's the reasons we fly out early. You'd like to be on time to get to get to what priorities you need to back home," said John Tritto of Bergen County, New Jersey.
A spokesperson for the airline trade group Airlines For America told NewsChannel 15 the delays across the country were not as bad as they had expected.
But that group, along with a pilot's union, has filed a lawsuit against the FAA to stop the furloughs, which they say are costing them millions of dollars.