Thursday, May 3, 2012

Reasons for Flight Delays

The Federal Aviation Administration allows for 15 minutes of extra time beyond a flight's schedule departure before it is considered delayed. Flight delays are frustrating, costly and a source of rage for the passengers that are caught in them. Air carriers and airports have introduced a number of technologies and methods to reduce flight delays, and they have been met with some success.

  • Air travel is one of the most important aspects of international commerce, and flight delays cost the airline industry billions of dollars every year. Flight delays also cause problems for travelers, as they can interfere with scheduled events. A delay on the first leg of a trip can cost the flyer his reservations on subsequent flights and prevent him from reaching his destination on time.
Carrier Delays
  • According to the Bureau of Travel Statistics, many delays are caused by a problem with the air carrier, such as "maintenance or crew problems, aircraft cleaning, baggage loading, fueling, etc."

Extreme Weather
  • Modern planes are safe and can withstand most weather conditions, but storms such as blizzards, hurricanes and tornadoes will cancel flights. Severe thunderstorms can delay flights, but in most cases planes are able to fly above the weather. In addition, bad weather in one location may affect flights coming into that area as well as leaving the area, so it can have a ripple effect among many flights. The delays and cancellations because of weather are at the discretion of the carrier.
  • Problems with security or mandatory evacuations after an emergency clears terminals, can force passengers to go through security again, causing flight delays.
Technology Problems
  • Delays caused by faulty air traffic control equipment or human misuse of equipment fall under this heading. The U.S. National Aviation System accounted for delays involving 7.4 percent of all national flights in April 2009, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Give credit to  Evan Kubitschek, eHow Contributor

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