Common Reasons for Flight Delays and Cancellations
Before we dive into how to check flight status, it’s essential to understand the common reasons for flight delays and cancellations. By knowing the causes, you can prepare accordingly and reduce the risk of disruption.
- Weather conditions
Weather conditions, such as thunderstorms, snow, or fog, can affect flights’ safety and operations. Airlines prioritize safety above all, and if weather conditions are too severe, they may delay or cancel flights to avoid risks. For example, if there is a storm forecasted at your departure or arrival airport, your flight may get delayed or cancelled.
- Technical issues
Aircraft require regular maintenance to ensure their safety and reliability. If there are any technical issues detected before or during a flight, the airline may need to fix them before continuing the flight. This can cause delays or cancellations, depending on the severity of the issue. For example, if there is an engine problem or a malfunctioning part, the flight may need to be cancelled or delayed until the issue is resolved.
- Air traffic control
Air traffic control manages the movement of aircraft in the air and on the ground to ensure safety and efficiency. However, air traffic control can also cause delays, especially during peak travel seasons or busy airports. For example, if there is congestion or a runway closure at your departure or arrival airport, your flight may get delayed or diverted to another airport.
- Crew shortages
Airlines require a sufficient number of pilots, flight attendants, and other crew members to operate their flights. If there are any crew shortages due to illness, scheduling conflicts, or other reasons, the airline may need to cancel or delay flights until they find a replacement. For example, if a flight attendant calls in sick, the airline may need to find another crew member or cancel the flight if they cannot find a replacement.
How to Track Flight Status
Now that you know the common reasons for flight delays and cancellations, let’s discuss how to check your flight status. There are various ways to track your flight status, such as:
- Airline websites
Most airlines provide a flight status tracker on their websites, where you can enter your flight number, departure date, and destination to get the latest updates. The airline website can also provide information on any delays or cancellations, alternative flights, or travel advisories.
- Flight tracking apps
Flight tracking apps, such as FlightAware, FlightRadar24, or FlightStats, allow you to track your flight in real-time and get updates on any changes. These apps use data from various sources, such as air traffic control, airports, and airlines, to provide accurate and timely information. Additionally, some apps offer features such as push notifications, flight alerts, or airport maps to enhance your travel experience.
- Airport information screens
If you are already at the airport, you can check the airport information screens for your flight status. These screens are usually located near the check-in counters or gate areas and provide information on the departure or arrival time, gate number, and any updates on delays or cancellations. You can also follow the airport instructions on any changes or announcements regarding your flight.
How to Interpret Flight Status Information
Understanding flight status information is essential to stay informed about any changes in your travel plans. Here are some key terms and meanings you should know:
Scheduled refers to the original departure or arrival time of the flight as listed on the airline’s website or ticket. It is the expected time of departure or arrival if there are no delays or cancellations.
On-time means that the flight departs or arrives within 15 minutes of the scheduled time. If your flight is on-time, you should arrive at the airport at the recommended time, usually 2-3 hours before departure.
Delayed means that the flight will depart or arrive later than the scheduled time. The delay time can vary from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the reason for the delay. If your flight is delayed, you should check with the airline for updates and adjust your travel plans accordingly.
Cancelled means that the flight will not depart or arrive at the scheduled time due to various reasons, such as weather conditions, technical issues, or crew shortages. If your flight is cancelled, the airline should provide you with alternative travel options, such as rebooking on another flight, refunding your ticket, or providing compensation.
Diverted means that the flight has been redirected to another airport due to unexpected circumstances, such as severe weather or air traffic control issues. If your flight is diverted, the airline should provide you with information on the new flight route and any changes in your travel plans.
How to Handle Flight Delays or Cancellations
Flight delays or cancellations can disrupt your travel plans and cause inconvenience and stress. However, you can minimize the impact by following these tips:
- Stay informed
The first step in handling flight delays or cancellations is to stay informed about the latest updates. Check your flight status regularly and sign up for flight alerts or push notifications to receive updates on any changes. Additionally, follow the airline’s instructions on how to handle the situation and any alternatives they offer.
- Be prepared
Bring essential items with you, such as a charger, snacks, water, medication, or a book, to stay comfortable and entertained during the delay or layover. Additionally, make sure you have a backup plan in case of flight disruptions, such as booking a hotel room or rescheduling your plans.
- Stay calm
Flight delays or cancellations can be frustrating and stressful, but it’s essential to stay calm and patient. Avoid getting angry or confrontational with the airline staff or other passengers, as it can make the situation worse. Instead, be polite and understanding and ask for help if you need it.
- Know your rights
If your flight is delayed or cancelled, you may be entitled to compensation or refunds, depending on the reason and duration of the disruption. Check your airline’s policy on flight disruptions and know your rights as a passenger.
How to Stay Entertained or Productive During Long Flight Delays or Layovers
Long flight delays or layovers can be boring and unproductive, but you can use the time wisely by following these tips:
- Bring a book or e-reader
Reading is an excellent way to pass the time and escape into a different world. Bring a book or e-reader with you to keep you entertained and engaged during the delay or layover.
- Download movies or TV shows
Many airlines offer in-flight entertainment, but you can also download movies or TV shows on your phone or tablet before your flight. This way, you can watch your favorite shows or movies during the delay or layover without relying on the airline’s entertainment system.
- Work remotely
If you have work to do, take advantage of the delay or layover to catch up on your work. Many airports offer free Wi-Fi, so you can connect to the internet and work remotely. Additionally, some airlines offer in-flight Wi-Fi, which you can use to stay connected and productive during the flight.
- Explore the airport
If you have a long layover, consider exploring the airport and discovering its amenities, such as shops, restaurants, or lounges. Some airports offer free tours or attractions, such as art exhibits or museums, which can be a fun and educational way to spend your time.
- Exercise or stretch
Sitting for long periods can be uncomfortable and can cause muscle stiffness or cramps. Take breaks and stretch your legs by walking around the airport or doing simple exercises, such as squats, lunges, or yoga poses.
Checking your flight status is an essential step in staying informed and prepared for any flight disruptions, such as delays, cancellations, or diversions. Understanding flight status terms and knowing your rights as a passenger can help you handle the situation calmly and efficiently. Additionally, using the time wisely during long flight delays or layovers can make the experience more comfortable and enjoyable. With these tips, you can stay one step ahead of flight disruptions and make the most out of your travel experience.
My name is Rohit Vagh and I’m a content writer specializing in fashion and lifestyle. I have three years of experience in this field and have written various articles. My writing style is creative and engaging, and I strive to create content that resonates with my readers. I have a deep passion for fashion and am constantly researching the latest trends and styles to make sure my readers are up to date. I’m excited to continue my career in blogging, and I’m always looking for new opportunities in the fashion and lifestyle space.