FORT MYERS, Fla. - Monday was a frustrating day to fly as furloughs with the Federal Aviation Administration kicked in. Flights all across the country were delayed, some by minutes, others by hours. While it's hard to tell which delays were caused by severe weather and which were caused by the sequester, some airlines are pointing fingers at Washington.
2:30 p.m. is when JetBlue flight 1076 from Boston was supposed to land in Fort Myers. Almost four hours later, at 6:10 p.m., they were finally at baggage claim.
"The first delay we encountered, they said, basically, there wasn't enough air traffic controllers to get the plane off the ground in time," Chris Lamonakis said. "So, they were just slowing it all down and letting people take off at a very leisurely pace, so as to not have accidents."
"Once we got in the plane we had to wait a while. It was long," Hope Tsacoyeanes said. "Not something you want to go through every day."
But, as the sequester continues, delays like this could happen every day. JetBlue sent an e-mail Monday, warning passengers that "due to FAA furloughs, airport and flight delays are possible."
On their website, Delta lists 10 airports likely to experience the most sequester-driven delays, providing resources for disappointed flyers to contact their lawmakers. "The politicians are letting us down," Bill Schubert said. "They cant get the simplest things done. it's a shame."
Bill and Mary Schubert's 5:55 flight home to Chicago was also delayed. "We got to the airport, looked at the monitor and were like, oh no, three hours to wait," Mary Schubert said. Bill has to catch a another flight to Boston tuesday, this time, for business. And, a delay or cancellation could cost him more than just vacation time. "It's just frustrating," Bill Schubert said. "It could ruin my whole week if I don't get out tomorrow."
While they can't predict what the future will look like, RSW spokesperson Vikki Moreland says you should prepare for anything until sequester and weather issues are resolved. Check your airline carrier's website frequently and arrive early.