Federal budget behind major flight delays at OIA, other airports



ORLANDO, Fla. - Central Florida residents planning to fly anywhere soon should be prepared for some trouble getting there and back.

Federal budget cuts mean there are fewer people watching the flights in the air, which is leading to delays.

If you're traveling from Orlando to the Northeast, Washington, Boston or any of the New York airports, it's not good news. Major delays are starting to stack up to and from those cities, and it could be just the beginning.

Budget cuts are forcing 15,000 FAA workers to take 11 unpaid days off through September. That means there will be 10 percent fewer eyes on the sky, which leads to delays in departures.

"Yesterday, the flight was delayed so we transferred today and it's delayed four hours, at least," said traveler Crystal Murphy.

Murphy and her family vacationed at Disney World, but now they're running into big problems at Orlando International Airport.

"We have a 4-month-old baby," she said. "He ran out of formula. It's prescription."

Members of Congress argued Tuesday that the furloughs are proving to be troublesome, especially at OIA, where there are 850 flights a day.

"We have some airports with little traffic and more controllers, so they need to be moved around," said Rep. John Mica.

In the meantime, the Department of Transportation may allow airlines to keep planes full of passengers stranded for hours on the tarmac.

Airlines are being active in letting passengers know, taking to email and social media, telling travelers to be prepared once they get to the airport.