Flight concerns ease with government temporarily reopening

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ST. LOUIS – Federal workers in the St. Louis area will finally get a paycheck and people who rely on their services, like airline passengers, were breathing easier Friday.

Friday morning did not start out well for air travelers. A ground stop at one of New York’s airports affected flights across the country, including St. Louis.

The departure and arrival board at St. Louis-Lambert Airport told the story.

Delays happened here because of problems at airports in the northeast like New York, Newark, and Philadelphia. There was trouble with staffing in airport control towers.

An FAA source said there haven’t been any staffing problems in the Lambert tower. A TSA worker said staffing at Lambert has been good.

On Friday afternoon, President Trump took to the airwaves and announced the shutdown was over, at least until February 15. There was a sigh of relief for passengers.

“This was a concern because of our safety with flying we’re just glad to hear that,” said Pam Glenn, who was flying to Las Vegas.

At the US Coast Guard in St. Louis, the USO provided its second free lunch Friday for Coasties who have not been paid. Coast Guard members also visited a food pantry filled with tons of donations from local organizations and businesses.

Petty Officer Christina Lehman helped organized the food pantry.

“The St. Louis community kind of took us under their wing and they really embraced us as part of their community and the donations started coming in,” she said.

It’s been tough going without a paycheck.

“It’s kind of as struggle at times but we're making do with what we have,” said Petty Officer Travis Brown, who has a wife and two children.

People are hopeful the politicians in Washington can hammer out an agreement before the middle of next month.

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