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Travelers delayed over 2.1M hours at airports last year: FAA says 'safety' and 'efficiency' is top priority

Data from the Bureau of Transportation was used by Places to Travel to conclude the airports with the lengthiest delays and those with the shortest from 2023-2024.

Americans are unsurprisingly fed up with constant flight delays and cancellations across the U.S., and it is only to be expected. From 2023-2024, passengers lost over 2.1 million hours of time due to travel issues.

Data for 2 million flights from the Bureau of Transportation was probed, and a newly released Places to Travel report concluded that from Jan. 2023 to Feb. 2024, passengers lost 2,100,140 hours and 43 minutes of travel time as a result of delays.

A small regional airport in Utah, Provo Airport, accounted for the longest average flight delays during the allotted time period, according to the report. 


Commercial airlines, Allegiant Air and American Airlines facilitate consumer travel to and from major cities within Provo.

"Both airlines flying out of Provo Airport are low cost carriers flying non-stop, point-to-point service," Brian Torgersen, Director at Provo Airport, told FOX Business via email.

"These airlines that currently operate in Provo do not have spare aircraft, or flight crews, sitting in Provo to plug into the schedule during extended delays," he added. "Aside from the first flights of the day, flights departing from Provo cannot leave until the aircraft arrives from its previous destinations, accruing delay throughout the day at every previous stop."

Torgersen added that other airports topping the Places to Travel list experience these same issues due to providing non-stop service to destinations, too. Planes experiencing mechanical issues or severe weather without a backup can create delays all day.

On average, the Beehive State airport hinders travel with an average delay time of 1 hour and 43 minutes. Of the 2,194 flights surveyed in and out of Provo, 39.74% of them were delayed.

A representative at the FAA provided FOX Business with safe summer travel documentation found on their website ahead of the upcoming busy months.

"Our job is to get you to your destination safely and efficiently," the FAA site reads. "This summer will see more planes in the skies, frequent bad weather, and increased use of the nation’s airspace. We are continuously working to address these challenges."

Orlando Sanford International in Florida averages delay times for travelers of 1 hour and 35 minutes, according to the report. 

From Jan. 2023 to Feb. 2024, 9,847 flights landed at Orlando Sanford, and 28.09% of them were delayed. The report shows that passengers experienced 4,095 days, or 11 years, worth of delays.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport accounted for 4,096 days worth of domestic and international impediments, with an average of 1 hour and 29 minutes in delays. Of the 308,806 flights arriving at Dallas Fort Worth, 66,105 of them, or 21.41%, were delayed.

Hilo International Airport in Hawaii had the shortest average delays of 40 minutes. 

In total, travelers lost 40 days due to delays in Hilo.

Of all the airports evaluated, three of the top 10 airports with the longest delays are located in Central Florida. In August, Florida airports first experienced lengthy lines of halted passengers that were later accompanied by cancelations due to Hurricane Idalia.


In mid-Feb., two members of Congress, Reps. Brian Mast, R-Fla., and Lois Frankel, D-Fla., failed to make it to Washington, D.C., in time for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' impeachment due to flight delays at Palm Beach International Airport.

At the time, Mast posted to X that he had been anticipating a flight for nine hours already.

Though Palm Beach does not appear on the list of airports with the worst delays, the location experienced a high volume of grounded planes for extensive periods of time around the holidays late last year.

Airports with the longest average delays, per the report:


Airports across the U.S. with the shortest average delays:

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