Flight Delayed? Thank the GOP

How the Sequester Makes Flying Even Worse

Starting this past Sunday the Federal Aviation Administration was forced to start furloughing air traffic controllers. What happens when there’s not enough air traffic controllers working? Not as many planes can be in the air. What happens when fewer planes can be in the air? Your flight gets delayed.

After yesterday, we know the impact of the furloughs isn’t just theoretical. Overall on-time performance dropped by more than 10 percent compared to the previous Monday. Delays were particularly bad in the Northeast, where delays at some airports stretched past 2 hours. Yesterday, it was actually faster to take the train  from New York to Washington D.C.

Things are only going to get worse the next time there’s another big storm or other event causing mass delays. With fewer flights and planes flying at near-capacity as it is, it will be all the more difficult to get things back on track if there aren’t enough air traffic controllers working to help clear some of the backlog of flights.

Let’s also take a minute to review why this is happening in the first place: we had to create the sequester because Republicans took the entire economy hostage in 2011. Republicans then refused for nearly two years now to accept a balanced approach that asks the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share. Thus we are stuck with the sequester until Republicans stop being intransigent and start being reasonable. In fact, now House Republicans won’t even appoint negotiators to finalize a budget for next year — after complaining for years that the Senate refused to pass a budget.

Finally, while flight delays are inconvenient and will harm the economy, the sequester is already having a terrible impact on the poor.

BOTTOM LINE: If your flight is delayed because of the sequester cuts, you should remember who is to blame: Republicans who refuse to accept a balanced approach to deficit reduction and instead prefer sticking Americans with the sequester and all of its negative consequences.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed

New Mark Zuckerberg group launches pro-immigration reform TV blitz.

Boston terror suspect says they had no affiliation with any terrorist organization.

Toronto’s Muslim community led police to terror suspects.

ThinkProgress has a new immigration blogger who is also a beneficiary of the Obama administration’s DREAM-like executive action.

Another alleged rapist protected at the expense of rape victim.

Leader of anti-immigrant group mocks day laborers.

Nevada senator comes out as state senate votes to repeal same-sex marriage ban.

How the NRA makes it harder to connect criminals with their weapons.

France approves marriage equality.

Should we ban killer robots?


The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Advocacy Team