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FAA prioritizes safety and efficiency as travelers face over 2.1 million hours of delays at airports last year

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Flight delays and cancellations are a major issue affecting travelers across the United States, with passengers losing over 2.1 million hours of time due to travel issues from 2023-2024. This data was gathered from 2 million flights by the Bureau of Transportation, leading to the release of a Places to Travel report. One of the airports with the longest average flight delays during this period was the Provo Airport in Utah.

Provo Airport is serviced by commercial airlines Allegiant Air and American Airlines, which operate non-stop, point-to-point service to major cities. However, the airport faces challenges with delays as these airlines do not have spare aircraft or flight crews readily available. This results in delays accumulating throughout the day. Similar issues are experienced by other airports providing non-stop service, as delays from mechanical issues or severe weather can have a cascading effect on flight schedules.

The report highlighted that Provo Airport had an average delay time of 1 hour and 43 minutes, and nearly 40% of flights were delayed out of the 2,194 flights surveyed. This airport was not the only one facing delays, as places like Orlando Sanford International Airport in Florida and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport also struggled with delays ranging from 1 hour to 1 hour and 35 minutes on average.

Hilo International Airport in Hawaii stood out for having the shortest average delays at 40 minutes, indicating a smoother travel experience for passengers. However, delays were still prevalent across various airports, which led to significant disruptions in travel plans. The report also highlighted the challenges that airports in Central Florida faced, with lengthy delays experienced especially during events like Hurricane Idalia.

In a recent incident involving members of Congress, Reps. Brian Mast and Lois Frankel from Florida were unable to make it to Washington, D.C. in time for an important meeting due to flight delays at Palm Beach International Airport. While this airport did not appear on the list of airports with the worst delays, it had previously experienced high volumes of grounded planes around the holidays. The report also listed the airports with the longest and shortest average delays, showing a wide range of delays across different locations.

Overall, flight delays continue to be a significant concern for travelers in the U.S., impacting travel plans and causing frustration among passengers. As airlines and airports work to address these challenges, passengers are encouraged to stay informed and prepared for potential delays, especially during busy travel seasons. Strategies such as using tools to save trips after cancellations or delays can help mitigate the impact of flight disruptions and ease the travel experience for passengers.

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