U.S. air travel delays loom after sequester -transportation secretary

WASHINGTON Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:22pm EST

WASHINGTON Feb 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. air travel system faces widespread disruptions if automatic government spending cuts go into effect next week, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said on Friday in an effort to press congressional lawmakers to delay the cuts.

LaHood painted a dismal picture of delayed and canceled flights, shuttered control towers, and irate air travelers from coast to coast if across-the-board spending cuts are allowed to take place under the process known as sequestration.

"Flights to major cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco and others could experience delays of up to 90 minutes during peak hours," he told reporters at the White House. "Delays in these major airports will ripple across the country."

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