Travelers concerned about lengthy flight delays as federal furloughs arrive

6:48 PM, Apr 22, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Air travelers concerned about delays as furloughs arrive

Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

ATLANTA -- Flight delays were present but tolerable Sunday at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport as federally mandated furloughs kept some air traffic controllers at home.

MORE | Track airport delays

Federal authorities predict the situation will worsen as air travel picks up during the week. Monday morning will bring an onslaught of business travelers to the world's busiest airport.

Some travelers feel the federal government could have made cuts in areas that would have had less of an effect on travelers.

"I believe you could probably make different allocations of money," said Alan Nicholson. "Seems to me if you're going to inconvenience the public you're doing it to bring the most attention to the public."

Another traveler was more blunt, suggesting that the federal government needed to get out of the business of regulating air travel.

"They need to privatize it," said David Smejkal. "Everything functions better when it's privatized. Once you get politicians involved it's a train wreck."

Federal transportation officials have said Atlanta's airport could feel the brunt of the furloughs. Air traffic controllers will have to stay home one day every two weeks. Officials have said it could close Atlanta's fifth runway on occasion.

Sunday, some flights to New York were delayed an hour or more, but there were not widespread delays.

Federal authorities have said while Atlanta could experience a maximum of three hour delays, the average would be 11 minutes.

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