National

Oct 8, 2009 9:37 AM by Associated Press

Researchers warn of more flight delays

A Brookings Institution report suggests frequent flyers should get used to arriving later as flight delays increase.

The report released Thursday says lengthy airline delays are twice as common now as in 1990 and will get worse as the economy recovers.

The researchers said much of the problem is due to heavy concentrations of short trips between big cities, but they also cited an "ill-equipped" air traffic control system and other factors.

They suggested increasing high-speed rail service to offer travelers alternatives. They also recommended letting busy airports charge fees on rush-hour flights to make airlines spread trips more evenly.

According to Brookings, 10.1 percent of all flights now arrive at least two hours late, up from 4.3 percent in 1990. The average delay is nearly an hour, 41 minutes longer than in 1990.

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