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Thread: Flight Delays in the U.S: a Little Personal Experience

  1. #1
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    Flight Delays in the U.S: a Little Personal Experience

    I know this subject may be boring to some of you, but here's my story of a short travel to the U.S. earlier this month.

    I booked my December 2007 travel with CO way back in August. All of my flights were regular scheduled flights. Here are the time performance data of those flights:

    * Flight no. 85, TLV-EWR, Dec. 3; scheduled take off 11:15; actual take off 12:40; reason: plane take off from EWR to TLV delayed.

    * Flight no. 238, EWR-MIA, Dec. 4; scheduled take off 10:40; actual take off 11:05; reason: unknown.

    * Flight no. 539, MIA-EWR, Dec. 11; scheduled take off 15:55; actual take off 17:07; reason: NY area air traffic congestion.

    * Flight no. 90, EWR-TLV, Dec. 11; scheduled take off 22:50; actual take off 23:20; reason: unknown.

    This record is surprising and predicted at the same time. As I have written in the last blog entry, at the time of the booking I was well aware of the big delays problem in the American travel system, and that has brought me to several decisions concerning my desired timetable. First, I was scheduled to land at EWR late Monday afternoon. If I were to book a connecting flight to MIA that evening, there may have been a chance that I will miss it if the flight from TLV landed behind its time, which it did. So I preferred to book my flight to MIA for the next day LATE morning hours, and spend the night in an airport hotel. Driving with me in the hotel shuttle were scores of passengers with hotel vouchers from CO, due to flight cancellations…

    Another decision I made dealt with the flight back home: I could have taken a morning flight from MIA to EWR, then take the afternoon flight to TLV, landing Wednesday morning. Instead I booked an afternoon flight from MIA, and a night flight from EWR, making me a lot of room in between, which has proved very wise due to the 70 minutes delay in MIA.

    It’s worth mentioning that another CO flight from MIA to EWR the same day (no. 439) that was scheduled to take off at 14:40, took off just minutes before my flight, at 17:02…

    So that’s why those delays were predictable. At the same time, I found myself surprised that not even ONE of the flight took of on time, because, generally speaking, there were no negative collateral conditions. Let’s start with the weather: In TLV and In MIA the weather conditions were ideal. In EWR, both in December 4 and December 11 there was some rain, but nothing more than that (there may have been a snow storm a couple of days after). Nothing in the weather could justify any delay.

    There were no airport congestion, either. I spent many hours at each of the three airport, and most of the time they were half empty. The reason is, of course, that I planned my travel to take place between Thanksgiving and Christmas, in order to avoid the travel frenzy of the holidays. And indeed that what happened, as I enjoyed uncrowded airports, hotels and parking lots… except for airline delays.

    If only I could blame all of this on the specific airline I flew with. The sad truth is that this kind of performance is shared by all U.S. airlines and has become the plague of the industry, as anybody who tracks the issue in the papers and on the web fully knows. So we are only left with one alternative, which is to plan our trips in advance according to this knowledge, and pray that the only delays will be as minor as those.

  2. #2
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    Re: Flight Delays in the U.S: a Little Personal Experience

    Typically, the rest of the country is no where near as bad as the NYC area.
    nwa FOREVER!

  3. #3
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    Re: Flight Delays in the U.S: a Little Personal Experience

    Those delays don't see bad at all to me, 30 mins to an hour, I can do that standing on my head while being beaten with a rubber hose.

  4. #4
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    Re: Flight Delays in the U.S: a Little Personal Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bird76
    Those delays don't see bad at all to me, 30 mins to an hour, I can do that standing on my head while being beaten with a rubber hose.
    Is that the new SouthWest boarding procedure :D

  5. #5
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    Re: Flight Delays in the U.S: a Little Personal Experience

    All 4 of your delays have one common reason, EWR, along with LGA and JFK the current 3 worst for delays in the US. And allthough I work for a competitor CO seems to have one of the current best OT and customer satisfaction rating of US carriers so trust me, you could have made out much. much worse. I hope you had fun in warm, sunny MIA ?

    Cheers

    LGA777

  6. #6
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    Re: Flight Delays in the U.S: a Little Personal Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by LGA777
    All 4 of your delays have one common reason, EWR, along with LGA and JFK the current 3 worst for delays in the US. And allthough I work for a competitor CO seems to have one of the current best OT and customer satisfaction rating of US carriers so trust me, you could have made out much. much worse. I hope you had fun in warm, sunny MIA ?

    Cheers

    LGA777
    You are right, of course, by blaming the NYC airports situation, but the question is still - why? I understand that in 08:00 am, when all airlines try to send their planes to the sky at the same time, there is a major problem; but try to explain why a flight that was meant to take off at 10:40 am, in a day when half the airport is vacant and the skies are blue and even the birds are singing, still the flight goes out late?

    It seems to me that the NYC airlines have soaked the congestion thing so much into their system, that they can not dispatch a flight on time anymore. Maybe the airline people at Newark are saying to themselves: hey, everything seems to be OK, so something must be wrong. lets delay this flight for a few minutes and see what's wrong... I know it's sounds silly, but my opinion is that it's a case of organizational behaviour.

    And, by the way, I had a great time in sunny Florida! You should all go visit Key West.

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