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FAA Study Shows Passengers Pay Billions in Delays

This blog post was updated on July 27, 2021.

On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration revealed a study that shows the cost of airline delays to passengers. The study presents a whopping $16.7 billion as the expense to passengers.


The FAA funded study examines the expense to passengers for flight delays in 2007, the most recent year for which complete data was available when researchers began the study.


Unlike studies of the past which focused on the impact of flight delays, researches looked more broadly at the costs related to flight delays, including passengers’ lost time waiting for flights and then quickly attempting to make other arrangements when flights were canceled.


The study demonstrates that the cost to airlines for delays was $8.3 billion, with crew, fuel, and maintenance. The cost overall was $33 billion, including cost to other areas of the economy. Moreover, a part of the study indicated that more than half the cost related to flight delays is had by passengers.


Those costs have likely decreased in the past few years following 2007. Air travel peaked during that time before the economy crashed and so did flight delays and cancelations.


Last year 85,000 flights were delayed and 63,000 were canceled. In 2007 the numbers were higher with 1.3 million domestic flight delays and 119,000 cancelations.

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