While the FAA sequestration fiasco had been brewing, airline and pilot lobbyists together with consumer groups were furiously working behind the scenes in unprecedented unity to head off what each group saw as a possible pending disaster involving delays and misuse of earmarked aviation system funds.
Sequester cuts are hitting the FAA air traffic control system. While Congress has asked for a list of non-operational areas that could be cut, the FAA demurred and announced cuts that seem to have been designed to generate maximum public pain.
It’s too soon to tell whether and when air travelers will be affected by the sequester. It probably won’t happen this month. My Southwest Airlines flight from Orlando to Denver the day after the sequester went into effect departed on time, and we experienced no delays at the TSA screening area. That could change in April, when the anticipated cuts will be in full swing. But, it may never happen.
Shouldn’t travelers be immune to the sequester? After all, our mandatory travel user fees associated with flying are not dropping. Why are we being threatened with cutbacks in services that we pay for every time we fly, go through security or re-enter the country?