Government cutbacks could cause flight delays, longer lines


SEATAC, Wash. - Flying out of Sea-Tac and other airports nationwide is about to get tougher.

 Experts are predicting flights will be delayed or canceled, and workers will be furloughed because of government cutbacks.              

 The Transportation Security Administration is warning travelers that in general, lines will get longer and wait times could be more than an hour during peak travel seasons.

 The delays are the result of sequestration, the automatic government cutbacks that went into effect Friday.

 A hiring freeze will mean 1,000 transportation security officer vacancies by Memorial Day weekend and up to 2,600 vacancies by the end of the fiscal year, and the Federal Aviation Administration is cutting more than $600 million out of its budget.

 Air traffic controllers could be furloughed in a month, including those in Sea-Tac Airport’s tower.

 The FAA said flights to major cities such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco could be delayed 90 minutes.

 Air traffic controllers think the delays could be longer.