On Day 3 of Sequester, Government Sites Show Few Flight Delays
(WASHINGTON) -- Wondering if sequestration will make wait times at your airport even longer on your day of travel? Two government websites help passengers plan ahead for lengthy lines or a speedy trip.
Both the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection predict sequestration budget cuts will mean more time stuck in line for travelers using America’s airways, but three days in, only some of those increases have materialized.
Enter your airport’s information on the TSA’s website for a quick listing of line times at each security checkpoint. A spokesperson at Reagan National Airport said Monday that neither Reagan nor nearby Dulles International Airport were seeing a change in wait times.
TSA’s press office said on Friday that the sequester would not trigger an immediate increase in wait times, but as they put in place a hiring freeze and see staffing levels drop, peak wait times at large airports could go up to an hour or more.
A second website allows flyers to see which airports are experiencing flight delays, which can also lengthen travel time.
The only airport showing delays on the Federal Aviation Administration website Monday afternoon was San Francisco International where weather was slowing planes out of the gate.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday waits at customs had already gone up by 150 to 200 percent.
“There’s very little we can do to mitigate it, because the procedures we use to clear passengers and cargo, they’re responsible, I think, for the fact that we have a safe aviation system, and we have a very good land migration system where we know who’s coming into the country,” Napolitano said at a breakfast hosted by Politico. “So we’re not going to cut back on those security needs, so the end result is fewer people doing the same things.”
“Lines are going to get longer,” she added.
CBP indicated two international airports experienced increased wait times on Friday.
“At John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, CBP had approximately 56 flights with wait times in excess of two hours, and 14 flights over three hours. Miami International Airport (MIA) reported 51 flights over two hours, and four flights approached/exceeded three hours,” the agency said in a statement. “These wait times are not typical for this time period, and are related to decreased booth staffing.”
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