Air travelers displeased with flight delays due to furloughs

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - As travelers rush in and out of the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport and planes arrive and depart, many passengers prepare to do one thing: Wait.

Executive Director of the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport Clay Williams said the closure and furloughs of many air traffic controllers across the country are leading to delays. That's something travelers say is not ideal.

"That would scare me, especially since I don't fly that often," said Atlanta resident Julia Rubin.

"It's bad enough anyway with the security you go through and all. Now, the delays. I couldn't deal with that," said Arthur Thomas.

Thomas flies about twice a month and said he doesn't have time to wait.

"It's just going to delay us some more. Instead of getting to the airport two hours ahead of time, it might be three or four hours ahead of time," said Thomas.

Thomas feels these cuts could have been avoided, and he's not alone.

"We're cutting the wrong thing. There's hundreds of billions of dollars of waste in the federal government and instead we're cutting workers. You have to ask yourself, is this a political decision?" said Congressman Steven Palazzo.

Still, Williams said it's not something to get upset about yet.

"So far, here at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, we haven't experienced any delays due to furloughs," said Williams.

Williams said to avoid the headache of waiting on delayed flights, you can do one simple thing: Pick up your phone.

"Please call ahead, check with your airline. Inquire as to the status of your flight and just be prepared," said Williams.

But frequent flyers like Thomas say that's a hassle they shouldn't have to deal with and these changes add unnecessary difficulty to something that's already stressful enough.

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