On the heels of the sequestration going into effect, automatic spending cuts are hitting the FAA in full force now. After first closing contracted control towers at smaller airports, now federal employees are being furloughed. This is going to mean fewer air traffic controllers to guide planes in and fewer TSA agents to get travelers through airports. This is likely to impact the nations’ busiest airports most causing delays and potentially even resulting in some cancellations. Information is power so it is handy to use tools to monitor what the situation is like on any given day. Check the Global Cancellation and Delay Tracker.
Some tips to mitigate the pain of delays:
- Avoid the nation’s busiest airports where travel delays are common even when things are normal.
- Travel early in the day. We’ve observed that as the day continues travel delays have greater impact, and travelers have fewer alternatives to get to their destinations.
- Sign up for www.flightstats.com to get access to delay information and flight alerts.
- Know the rules and your rights so that you can better advocate with airlines a remedy.
- Remember the Golden Rule. It is going to be frustrating to navigate a packed system with fewer resources but the airline employees did not cause this situation. Remember to treat airline employees the way you would hope they would treat you in the same situation. (You’re likely to get better service.)