More U.S. Passengers Than Ever Are Being Stranded On Airport Runways

No one likes to be delayed at the airport, but there is something even worse: to be delayed for hours after you’ve already boarded your flight.

According to The Points Guy, airlines stranded 244 flights on the tarmac for more than three hours in 2018. That’s up significantly from 2017, when 164 flights found themselves stuck on the runway. In fact, there’s been an increase in the number of stranded flights each year since 2013.

Being stuck on the runway is unpleasant for plenty of reasons. Hot temperatures, missed meals, cramped quarters, and missed connections are just a few.

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The issue has become so common that the Department of Transportation has started imposing fines on airlines when flights are delayed on the tarmac with passengers already inside the aircraft. Under this policy, introduced in 2010, airlines can be fined up to $27,500 per passenger for domestic delays that last more than three hours or International delays that last more than four hours.

The good news for airline customers is that you may be entitled to compensation for these types of delays. Check with your carrier to see if they owe you money after a prolonged stint on the tarmac.