Alaska Air Group CEO Calls FAA Furloughs "Unfathomable"

By Tom Banse

The head of Alaska Airlines has choice words for the air traffic controller furloughs that started Sunday.

Thursday, Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden called the travel impact of automatic federal budget cuts "unfathomable." Sister carriers Alaska and Horizon Air say delays and cancellations have been most noticeable on flights to Los Angeles this week. Tilden says he's hopeful Congress will step in with a quick fix.

Brad Tilden: "I don't know, there's encouraging things in the last day or two. I think there is cause to be optimistic that we are going to get this problem behind us. But the sooner the better from our perspective. This is something we desperately need fixed."

Members of Congress are reportedly swapping ideas for how to give the Federal Aviation Administration more budget flexibility. However, Congress watchers doubt any a deal could pass before the members go on a weeklong recess next week.

At this hour, the website FlightStats.com shows minimal delays at the Seattle, Portland, Spokane and Boise airports.

North American flight delays map (FlightStats):

http://www.flightstats.com/go/Home/home.do

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