Delays caused by furloughs could trickle down to MEM - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Delays caused by furloughs could trickle down to MEM

(WMC-TV) - Furloughs for air traffic controllers are making air travel even more frustrating. It is all part of budget cuts from what is known as the "sequester".

Some flights are being kept on the runway for hours.

On any given day, 10 percent of all air traffic controllers in the country are on furlough. The FAA says that means flight delays.

Memphis International Airport is stuck in the middle.

Steffanie Schlagel's visit to Memphis got off the ground without a hitch despite nationwide concerns over flight delays resulting from FAA furloughs.

"First time and I loved it," she said. "I couldn't ask for a better flight."

"Every industry, they do downsizing and guess what? Everybody else steps up," said traveler Greg Voss.

Airport officials do not expect staffing issues at the Memphis tower, but Airport Authority Vice President John Greaud says delays that originate in much larger airports will likely trickle down.

"There could be delays that start small in the beginning of the day and as the day goes on, those delays could get longer and longer," said Greaud.

So, like the weather or a mechanical issue, it is another unpredictable variable that will be a hassle at some time for someone.

Just not Ralph Sagmoe, who was waiting on his wife's arrival at the airport.

"No. I never fly. I won't fly," said Sagmoe. He has the only foolproof solution.

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