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FAA Furloughs Impact Passengers & Businesses

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) J.D. Miles
J.D. is an award-winning reporter who has been covering North T...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Mandatory furloughs of air traffic controllers are affecting more than just passengers at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Love Field. The impact was felt by passengers stuck at terminals and business owners who depend on customers coming to and from the airports.

The longer Joseph Farhat waits, the more money he loses. “A couple a hundred a day and it’s not good for business,” said Farhat, who owns a limo service for DFW passengers.

He said flight delays forced him to cancel customers who overlap and it’s never been this bad. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen because for two weeks every flight has been delayed.”

DFW terminals were full of people waiting hours for their loved ones to arrive Tuesday.

Ashley Clark waited more than two hours for her boyfriend to get here on a flight from Detroit. “It bothered me because I wanted to see him earlier but he’s here now so I’m good,” said Clark.

The airline blamed a mechanical problem for the delay, which didn’t sit well with Clark’s boyfriend, Marty Crandall.

“I was looking on the phone to see what kind of passenger rights we had.”

The Federal Aviation Administration is using fewer air traffic controllers because of recent budget cuts, which forces planes to sit on runways longer before taking off.

“We got there and it was just wait and wait and wait… they kept delaying the time we were going to take off and we didn’t get any explanation except there’s a delay in Dallas and whether that had anything to do with the sequester I don’t know, said Bill Rickenbacher, airline passenger.

Both DFW and American Airlines deny that the delays passengers are experiencing are the result of anything abnormal.

“American and American Eagle are not experiencing any significant issues in their operations beyond normal ground-delay programs. These programs are due to weather or airport issues such as runway construction,” said Mary Frances Fagan, American Airlines Spokesperson.

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