1. SOUNDBITE: Geoff Freeman, US Travel COO: 'Well the real shame of the sequester is that the cuts are indiscriminate. The fact is, we need to take a hard look at the federal budget and make difficult decisions rather than these across the board cuts which affect needed services like TSA, like customs and border protection, like air-traffic control. TSA, CBP, air traffic control are all going to suffer to deal with these issues with the existing resources. We already today, in so-called good times, see wait times often exceeding two hours to clear customs. These issues are only going to get worse as the sequester takes hold."

2. Two shots of planes on tarmac

3. SOUNDBITE: Will Feldman, Bethesda, MD, resident: "I think it's a little disappointing that they would sacrifice the TSA before anything else if they're looking for budget cuts. It seems like a pretty important service for the community and safety-wise it's probably one of our number one concerns."

4. Passengers with suitcases walking through Reagan National Airport, Washington

5. SOUNDBITE: Brandon Atwater, Washington, DC. Resident; "I think yeah a lot of things might get passed that normally wouldn't get passed because if we had as much security as we should have, yeah I think the government should think about it."

6. Man with suitcases walking through Reagan National Airport, Washington

7. SOUNDBITE: Maria Nazario, Florida Resident: "I don't feel it's an inconvenience if we have longer lines because we have more security and they're being more cautious, but longer lines because they have less workers, well that's a problem."

8. Tight shot sign 'self-service check-in' at Reagan National Airport, Washington

9. Passengers waiting in line at check-in counter at Reagan National Airport, Washington

STORYLINE:

The Obama administration is warning that automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect March 1 will result in travel delays at major airports and require traffic-disrupting shutdowns of air traffic control towers at smaller facilities.

The AP spoke with Geoff Freeman, US Travel COO. He says "we already today, in so-called good times, see wait times often exceeding two hours to clear customs. These issues are only going to get worse as the sequester takes hold."

(****END****)

 

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