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FAA promises plan for holiday travel relief

As millions of us plan ahead for our Memorial Day vacations we have to make allowances for airport delays. But a new plan by the federal government promises some relief for the weary air traveler. For nearly every flyer, there's a bad weather horror story. Air traveler Doris Pruetting said, "One time the flight was delayed for four hours. It was very, very frustrating." Now, as the busy summer travel season approaches, the FAA has a plan to keep flights moving through stormy skies. FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakely said, "We're doing everything we can to keep delays from increasing this summer." It's called the airspace flow program -- a complicated title, for a fairly simple idea. If a flight isn't directly headed into rough weather don't delay it. If it is, give airlines the option to wait out the weather on the tarmac or simply steer around the storm. Air traveler Buddy Buder said, "One flight gets cancelled and another one gets cancelled, all the sudden everything gets backed up." Preutting said, "And I see people sleeping and I'm like, oh gosh, in the airport." Air carriers are already under fire. Travelers are pushing for a passengers' bill of rights, after bad weather left hundreds stranded on the tarmac last winter. Last summer the FAA tested this new program and it worked. Delays were down 20 percent and the airlines saved millions in fuel costs. But with 209 million people expected to fly this summer the FAA says you should still expect some delays -- even if it's not the kind caused by Mother Nature. Blakley said, "My best advice is to allow extra time because the summer is going to be tough."

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