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Congress appears to have temporarily fixed the problem by allowing the Federal Aviation Administration to respond to sequestration more flexibly. Yet the basic problem remains: The federal government retains the ability to control our mobility as long as the FAA is financed with general tax revenue. Passengers should bear the costs of their own travel. Taxpayers generally shouldn’t pick up the bill. In exchange, passengers should be entitled to reliable flights and shorter security lines, free from the mess of Washington politics. The FAA attributed more than 1,200 delays on April 22, 1,025 on April 23 and 863 on April 24 to “staffing reductions resulting from the furlough” caused by sequestration. Over the same three days, the FAA said more than 4,500 delays resulted from “weather and other factors,” suggesting that the furlough was responsible for about 40 percent of late U.S. flights over those three days.


Glaeser, Edward L. "Make Airline Passengers Pay Higher Fees." Bloomberg, April 30, 2013.