Robert Darbelnet, president of the Orlando-based travel club AAA, said passengers should practice "defensive flying:"
Check airline and airport Web sites for delays before departure.
Bring your own food and entertainment for children.
Program numbers of airlines, hotels and car rental firms on your cell phone.
Take the earliest possible flight, which is less likely to be delayed.
See video of one passenger's ordeal aboard a delayed flight from New York to Dallas at Sun-Sentinel.com/airlines
Airlines have set limits for when to deplane passengers experiencing extended ground delays. Some airlines only have policies for flights that are departing, others for flights that have already arrived. The practices of some major carriers to South Florida, and the dates they were adopted, if the policies recently changed:
Airline Time to deplane passengers American 4 hours (4/10/07) Continental 4 hours for departures (6/15/07) Delta none JetBlue 5 hours (2/20/07) Northwest 1 hour for arrivals, 3 hours for departures Southwest 2 hours United 1.5 hours for arrivals, 4 hours for departures (9/05/07) US Airways none Source: Department of Transportation,
Office of Inspector General