Find The Real Reason For Delays With Airline Cargo Sites

It can be hard to get a straight answer out of airlines sometime about the real reason a flight is delayed. For some reason, though, they’re more straight up about their packages than their passengers. See, the airlines have special cargo websites which are supposed to be for people tracking packages they’re shipping through the airline. Here’s the cargo sites for some of the major carriers…


If your flight is delayed, check the cargo site. If the reason given is other than the weather, save a copy of the site (hit print screen, paste it a photo editor, save the file) and now you’re in a position to negotiate refunds, miles, and seat upgrades, from the airline, (as the delay has to be due to a fault of the airline, like mechanical difficulty, in order to get remuneration). Sometimes the information isn’t always accurate so it’s also good to check the info at

[via Upgrade Travel Better via Rick Seaney]


Edit Your Comment

  1. timmus says:

    Capt. Miller dlyd 20 min, on the can, dispatch asked to bring Kaopectate to bathroom near Gate A38.

  2. P41 says:

    Beautiful. Nothing scummier than an airline keeping people hostage at the gate because they didn’t want to fess up the flight would be delayed.

  3. Trackback says:

    Here’s a great tip from Consumerist: airlines’ cargo-tracking websites often give the real explanation for flight delays on their passenger jets.

  4. zanhecht says:

    Too bad it doesn’t work with US Airways or Delta — they require an package tracking number.

  5. VicMatson says:

    I check airbills every day and can tell you the reasons given online for delay are vague at best…rarely as clear as said!

    It would also interest you to know cargo is tendered and an airbill issued, but from there on it is assumed that the airline employees get it on the flight. Most of the airlines use 3rd party services(like ATI[Delta} and Quantium[Northwest] etc.) to sub contract this out, witch creates denialability! Scary hoh,Delta for example has no idea if a package got lost in Atlanta until it doesn’t show at it’s final destination.

    I can see poster using FlightStats as a source, but keep in mind they are only reporting(xml)from the airlines!

  6. flightstats says:

    FlightStats data doesn’t just come from the airlines.

    FlightStats aggregates flight data from a variety of sources including the GDSs, FAA, airports, and airlines.

    You can often get the real story from us well ahead of the time the gate agents know what’s happening.

  7. VicMatson says:

    The only thing I can tell you is I do use FlightStats, Google just started Google search subscriptions and you are the one I go to because being on hold gets frustrating. However I have, more that once, read the report and gotten a different story from the Pilots(KR)that flew the flight.

    Just enter the airlines and the flight number!

  8. Mr. Gunn says:

    That’s great, but the FAA has good status info too.

  9. Caroofikus says:

    @timmus: Haha that’s great. I remember being on a puddle jumper one time and the captain came runnning out of the cockpit to go to the bathroom. We were already taxiing and had to pull over to some spot of pavement just off the runway. Good times indeed…