As Fewer Fly, Airline Delays Nosedive

Major airports see traffic fall 9%
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 24, 2009 7:25 AM CDT
Travelers make their way through Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Friday, July 3, 2009.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
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(Newser) – With fewer travelers taking to the skies, airline delays have dropped significantly compared to recent years, USA Today reports. Delays topping two hours fell by more than a quarter this year from 2008 and 2007 levels, while traffic at big hubs has dropped 9% compared to last year. Traffic at airports hardest hit by airline restructuring, like Pittsburgh and St. Louis, has sunk some two-thirds.

The decrease in traffic has eased delays at all but two of the 31 busiest US airports—Atlanta and Newark. The biggest gainer: Chicago's O'Hare Airport, which opened a new runway last fall, went from 61% to 78% on time departures. “We're no longer at rush hour,” says an expert.