U.S. Congress puts a price tag on flight delays

Looking to put a price tag on that latest flight delay you had to endure? Luckily, Congress already has.

In a report released recently, and cited by the Associated Press, Congress says that flight delays cost the American economy some $41 billion in 2007.

How does that break down? The congressional Joint Economic Committee says that included $19 billion in costs for airlines and $12 billion in costs to passengers in lost productivity and down time, the AP reports. There were also around $10 billion in indirect costs, likely food and hotel vouchers.

So, we know it’s bad. Now Congress says this “punch in the gut,” in the words of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), is only going to get worse this summer.

The JEC analyzed more than 10 million individual flight records from the government, and says that flight delays amounted to a cost of $37.60 per passenger per hour last year, according to the AP.

There were about 320 million hours of delay time in 2007.

The JEC also concluded that delays were worst at major hubs in the Northeast and Midwest. JFK travelers on average were delayed 27 minutes, O’Hare travelers, 21 minutes, the AP says.