March 1st, marks a very critical U.S. Federal government budget deadline that is fast approaching. If no action is taken by the U.S. Congress and President to avert a forced shutdown, then $85 billion in spending must be cut immediately.
Various federal agencies are warning that this will dramatically cut the number of air traffic controllers, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel at airport security and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel, many of whom would be furloughed from their respective operations. In turn, furloughed air traffic controllers could mean a sharp reduction in the number of airline flights allowed to depart with a significant number being canceled. Furloughed TSA personnel could mean substantially longer lines at airport screening. Furloughed CBP personnel could mean very long lines at customs.
According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Roy LaHood who has indicated that the furloughs and facility shut-downs referenced in the statement below will not occur until April.
“Because of the severe impact the sequestration could have on travel – potentially resulting canceled flights, as well as longer wait times for travelers both at airport security and customs check points” it is due to this and other statements from government officials which is why I am communicating these concerns here.
It is imperative that you closely monitor flight schedules and airport wait times. You should also allow for extra time not only when checking in for your flights, but also while passing through security screening and when boarding”. If all slows to a crawl wait times for the entire process could easily exceed 3+ hours, especially at larger metropolitan airports.
If you have booked your travel plans through a travel agent or cruise planner you should be in close contact with them, so they can be ready to assist you, should your travel plans become disrupted.
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