Air Travel Delays Worst In 13 Years

The new numbers are in and the first 6 months of flight delays are the worst we’ve seen in 13 years.

So what can you do? NBC finds some expert to give you advice, but let’s face it: You can’t really do anything. Airlines are flying too many flights, and they’re flying them 90% full.

No room for error in a system where error is inevitable. Oh well, the bottled-water-and-cold-sandwiches-in-airports industry is probably booming.



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  1. acambras says:

    I am shocked. SHOCKED!!!

    OK… I’m not really that shocked.

  2. BK88 says:

    Finally a travel consultant that doesn’t spew the airlines propoganda and tells it like it really is. I’m shocked!!!

  3. B says:

    Well, there is one thing we could do. Make the airports bigger, so there’s room for all the planes. Or we could just all fly less.

  4. ancientsociety says:

    I realized how bad it was yesterday, when I flipped on the afternoon news and 10 flights @ O’Hare had been cancelled because they “expected” bad weather.


  5. TedSez says:

    Every flight I’ve taken in the past year or so has a lot of extra time built into the schedule (i.e., a three-hour flight is scheduled to take off at noon and arrive at 3:45).

    Which means the flights that are actually reported as being late are really late.

  6. holocron says:

    Oh man…I was on a flight from Charlottesville to Detroit yesterday. Somehow, they loaded an extra 1000 pounds of fuel and it was overweight. So after trying to sort it out while we all sat there in the tin can without air…30 mins later they finally ask for a volunteer to get off the flight. I took it! But watching the ensuing 60 min delay as the gate agents and ground crew tried to get the release report to match the plane…sheese, so glad I got off that flight!

  7. ahwannabe says:

    What can we do? Take the train. Yes, it takes longer, but beats being stuck on the runway for 11 hours.

  8. BK88 says:

    @TedSez: Guess I have to educate the
    public one person at a time on how “flight times” are built. Posted
    this on the Southwest story, but reposted so you can learn.

    In the biz it is called BLOCK TIME, which is the time calculated from
    leaving the gate to arriving at the next gate. So in this formula
    everything is added. This is how it has always been done and will be
    done in the future every airline does it.

    Avg taxi time from gate to runway+
    Avg enroute time plus average holds/delays+
    Avg taxi time from runway to gate.

    So if at JFK it takes 30 minutes to taxi to the runway at 8am, all 8am
    departures have 30 minutes added to there block time. If a plane going
    in to LaGuardia as to hold an average of 20 minutes, its added to the
    enroute time. There are also ground delay programs and speed control
    programs initiated by the FAA.

    All the modernization in the world one cure the fact that only one
    airplane can land on a runway per minute at any aiport. So if the
    airlines scheduled 80 arrivals to a one runway airport from 5-6pm, 20
    of them will be late.

    Bottom line, more runways are needed, and NIMBYs should be banned from flying until runways are built.


  9. TedSez says:

    @BK88: I understand what block time is. What I’m saying is that they’re scheduling that time to be longer and longer, so flights can land later without officially being designated as late.

  10. Jozef says:

    I’m flying from Atlanta to Dublin next week, changing planes in Newark. I picked flights that would allow me for nearly 4 hours stay in Newark, precisely because of the delays. Factoring in security screening time, transportation time to and from airport and flight time, I found that within the US anything I can reach in a day of driving is better driven than flown; any domestic destination that involves changing planes is better driven if I can reach it within two days. I’m really shocked that there is still such a strong demand for fling in this situation.

  11. agpetz says:

    I’m glad I could do my part. Last Friday, flight was supposed to leave DCA (Reagan) at 7:25 PM heading for DFW. Actual time of departure…2AM. I don’t think I have ever had a flight leave on time out of DC.