Inside and outside of Oakland

Longer lines and flight delays because of budget cuts? You tell us.

  With $85 billion in federal budget cuts taking effect nationwide because of the "sequester" and the inability of Congress to reach a deal on alternative spending and revenue measures, a big question is what will happen to spring travel as federal workers are furloughed, many at the nation's busiest airports - including Detroit's.
  What has your experience been?

  If you travel before April — and if Congress does nothing to alter the automatic federal spending cuts that are taking effect — you can still expect few delays other than those that already occur naturally.
  But Wayne County's Detroit Metropolitan Airport expects some impact when the furlough of federal workers, including Transportation Security Administration agents who check people through security at the nation's airports, takes effect.
  Furloughs of civilian federal workers are part of the $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts that took effect Friday, known as sequestration, when Congress failed to reach a deal on other spending and revenue options.
  For now, though, it's business as usual, says Mike Conway, director of public affairs for the airport.
  "As of right now, it's pretty much business as usual," Conway said. "We THINK, unless an agreement is reached, we'll start seeing delays in April."
  The earliest that furloughs of federal workers can begin is April 1 because 30 days notice is required.
  But Detroit's major airport, like others across the country, are preparing for what some say could be long lines to get through security checkpoints and possible flight delays.
  Detroit Metro has added a "latest update" section on its website called "Federal Sequestration Impact on Air Travel," which Conway said will be updated to reflect airport conditions.
  The brief notice also recommends air travelers to check with the airlines they're flying for arrival information and possible delays as they make their spring travel plans.
  About 16 million people a year fly out of the airport each year, according to airport statistics.

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