Flying? Avoid New York And Its Huge Delays

Here’s a fun statistic, delays at JFK were up 140.6% in April compared to last year. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like we can blame the airlines for this one. According to NY Senator Chuck Schumer, the increase in delays is probably due to a shortage of air traffic controllers. Chuck says:
“You sit on the runway all hours; the weather is fine, and there isn’t an unusual increase in the number of flights. Yet you sit and sit and sit,” he said.” An FAA spokesperson thinks Schumer is smoking some fine dope,

FAA spokesman Laura Brown acknowledged there have been more delays nationwide and in New York, but said increased flights, not a lack of flight controllers, were to blame.

“The number of air traffic controllers – and I can’t stress this enough – has nothing to do with delays,” Brown said. “We have a certain number of runways and airports to handle the traffic, and the system is stretched to capacity.”

Yes, yes, it’s nobody’s fault. Kinda makes you want to drive… until you remember that premium gas is over $4.00 per gallon in some places. —MEGHANN MARCO

Time sure doesn’t fly – Schumer [Daily News]
(Photo: JohnKit)

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  1. bnet41 says:

    I am always delayed going in and out of JFK it seems like. It seems like a capacity issue more so than anything else.

    Our airports here in NYC are in desperate need of new runways or something. When I am at JFK, you can just see every terminal has a plane on it, and the runways are always backed up. It’s the sheer amount of flights more so than the air traffic controllers. At least that’s what I am seeing.

  2. TechnoDestructo says:

    I want high-speed rail and I want it YESTERDAY.

    The US has painted itself into a corner re: transportation infrastructure, and there’s going to be a lot of pain before anything is done about it.

  3. Pasketti says:


    Flying saves time, not money.

    Even with the high gas prices, it’s still cheaper to drive, especially if there’s more than one person in the car.

  4. crnk says:

    AHH, I’m loving HVN…..general aviation airports rule, since most of our traffic is single engine props.

    Too bad I’m doing an intl long haul out of JFK in 2 weeks though.

  5. deltasleep says:

    Gas would have to be something like $10-$15/gal. for it to be cheaper for a family to fly. It would probably still have to be double what it is now for it to be cheaper for an individual to fly!
    And thats not taking into account the fact that ticket prices rise with fuel cost increases.

  6. JustAGuy2 says:

    Depending on the distance, it’s often cheaper to fly, particularly with only one person in the car. At the extreme, look at NYC-LA. 2800 miles, 30mpg, $3.50/gallon, you’re looking at $325 one way for gas alone, plus costs for motels, food, etc. You get get a r/t ticket for

  7. WaitingForClearance says:

    There may be enough Air Traffic Controllers, but flight services (where airplances get their takeoff clearences from) have recently been outsourced to Lockheed Martin http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55583-2005F… and the transition has not been smooth http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/newsitems/2007/070515afss.htm

    I guess if more planes are stuck on the ground the skies will be safer.

  8. yetiwisdom says:

    If you (like me) live south of NYC and are driving, you are well advised to fly EWK (Newark) to avoid the hellish drive to JFK that is almost always jammed. I’m actually pretty surprised that Newark has seen more delays as I’ve had great luck there and flew overseas from Newark during the test period…

  9. Helvetian says:

    EWR is a great airport, but unless you’re flying to Europe or on CO, you won’t find too many flights out depending on carrier and destination. Delta has many LGA outbound flights.

  10. Kalik says:

    Great… I’m planning to fly to New York this winter for Christmas/New Years. I take it that JFK is going to be hell during that time of year to begin with, even without this fact.

    JFK/EWK/LGA… which to choose…?

  11. Smackdown says:

    I flew through Newark in April to see my parents – I usually fly through Cincinnati or Philly – and the delays were unbelievable. The sense of resignation and acceptance was pretty impressive though.

    I am never going to make a connecting flight through New York again if I can help it.