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Furlough Delays Cause Frustration At Area Airports

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TWC News: Furlough Delays Cause Frustration At Area Airports
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Air travelers endured delays throughout Monday as the effects of federal budget cuts kick in at airports here in the city and across the nation.

Area airports saw some delays late Sunday, the first day of furloughs of air traffic controllers resulting from the spending cuts.

Things worsened Monday as air traffic ramped up.

The Federal Aviation Administration says controllers could be furloughed up to 11 days through September as it looks to cut costs.

Travelers at LaGuardia told NY1 they were feeling the effects. The Associated Press reported Monday that nearly a third of all flights from LaGuardia that were supposed to leave before 3 p.m. had delays of 15 minutes or more.

By comparison, only 6 percent of LaGuardia flights were delayed a week before, according to the AP.

"It slowed us down yesterday, I had to fly out this morning because I couldn't get out...the flights weren't on time yesterday. My flight was flying to Dallas-Fort Worth and coming into Philadelphia, and because the first flight was delayed it couldn't stack up, it wouldn't work - so, that's why I'm here talking to you right now," said one traveler.

"I think that the people of the United States should be up in arms about this. I mean, this is not our fault, they can just not get their job done there? And, so, we have to suffer just like with everything else, it's not fair to any of us who have to travel," said another traveler.

Some travelers, though, were understanding and said something's got to give.

"The government has to cut somewhere," said one traveler.

"There's not really anything I can do about it at the moment though, so just take it as it is," said another traveler.

Sen. Charles Schumer said the delays could hurt the area's economy because travelers may decide not to fly here.

He's calling on Congress to step in and stop furloughs, and is pushing a Senate plan to end the budget cuts.

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