Air news lately has been a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, travelers fearing for their safety on board were relieved the TSA postponed the policy allowing knives on airplanes. On the other, staff reductions and flight delays means travelers will feel that relief – from the ground – for much, much longer.
The announcement to allow knives and various sporting goods on airplanes was a thorn in a lot of people’s sides, and those who opposed the measure have been heard. The TSA will delay instituting the policy “until further notice,” – it was supposed to go into effect this Thursday, April 25. The controversial policy drew outcry from aviation employees and passengers alike, who claimed it would put travelers at risk: A Change.org petition opposing the policy garnered more than 15,000 signatures. The delay will allow the TSA to receive input from airline industry representatives, passenger advocates, and law enforcement experts to decide if such a policy is needed. Via USAToday
But all news isn’t good news for air travelers: As predicted, the sequester cuts that went into effect on March 1 have had an adverse effect on the airline industry. The sequester forced the Federal Aviation Administration to furlough – its employees must take mandatory, unpaid leaves of absence – its air traffic controllers beginning this past Sunday. The change has already shows its effects: The FAA credited 1,200 delays Monday to furlough-related staff reductions. Monday saw 400 flight cancellations and 6,997 delays, up from 207 cancellations and 4,842 delays Sunday. Via USAToday
More bad news: the U.S. Department of Transportation might lift the rule stating planes can’t remain on the tarmac for more than three hours before allowing passengers to de-plane. Lifting the rule is meant to counter the “substantial delay and disruption to air travel” the furloughs would cause. Via Skift
Whatever way you slice it, air travel is going to be a bit rough for the foreseeable future.