Money & Company

Tracking the market and economic trends
that shape your finances.

« Previous Post | Money & Company Home | Next Post »

Airline delays? What airline delays?

November 9, 2010 |  2:07 pm

United airlines Since the U.S. Department of Transportation adopted steep fines against airlines that strand passengers on delayed flights, the number of airline delays have dropped dramatically.

The latest federal statistics show that airlines continue to avoid long delays.

In September, only four domestic flights throughout the nation were delayed on airport tarmacs for more than three hours, down from six delayed flights in the same month in 2009.

All four delays were the results of bad weather in New York and Philadelphia on Sept. 22, according to the Transportation Department.

Under the fines that took effect in April, airlines may be forced to pay up to $27,500 per passenger for every flight that is delayed for more than three hours unless the passengers are given the option to get off the plane.

Between May and September, there have only been 12 airline delays that lasted more than three hours, compared with 535 such delays in the same period in 2009.

-- Hugo Martin

(Photo: United Airlines planes wait on the tarmac

 at Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Los Angeles Times.)