The most common reasons for flight delays

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We’ve all been there. You’re super excited about going on vacation, you get to the airport with more than enough time to get through security, and then the screen flashes up: DELAYED. Eugh. There’s nothing worse than having to hang around an airport for hours, waiting for your flight to take you somewhere sunny and beautiful. But, have you ever considered why your plane might be late? Here are some of the most common reasons for flight delays.

Late planes

According to statistics, the number one reason for late planes is…uh… late planes. If one aircraft is too late to land, then it caused a domino effect to other flights. Unfortunately, it’s not really something that is within the airline’s control. They cannot physically land until they are told it is safe to do so. While you may be all ready to start shouting at the air hostess for running behind, consider that it might actually be another airline company that’s causing all the delays.

Your airline

In nearly half of all cases, however, it is actually the fault of your airline – or something that is at least within their control. According to the U.S Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), nearly 50% of late flights between June 2015 and June 2016 were down to something the airline was simply slacking on. This could be refueling taking too long, crew not turning up on time, aircraft maintenance, and so on. This then leads to other take-offs and landings being delayed (see above). It’s a bit of a Catch-22 situation if you look at it that way.

Weather

Around 30% of delays are actually all down to the weather, which is definitely something that cannot be controlled. Well, not by mere humans anyway. Poor weather means that planes are unable to take-off or land, causing that Catch-22 situation we mentioned earlier. To be fair, we’d rather stay cozy in the airport for a little while longer as opposed to battling high winds or storms in a metal bird. Sure, we don’t mind weather delays one bit.

Airport security

You and I are the kind of people to turn up early for security, right? Unfortunately, not everyone else is. Airport security has got tighter in recent years, which means that it can take a little longer to go through all of the checks. This can then lead to holding up flights, as dozens of passengers can sometimes still be going through screening areas. Less than 0.1% of delays were due to actual security threats, such as evacuating an airport or plane due to a breach, you’ll be pleased to know.

What you can do

So, can you do anything to keep a flight running on time? Other than turning up early enough to check yourself in and get through security, not really. You can also be mindful of all the poor airline staff who will have to deal with the aftermath of a late plane though. It’s not (normally) their fault that the flight is delayed. Unless they’ve turned up late for work, in which case it definitely is their fault…

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Flight attendant breastfeeds passenger’s crying baby on flight

This flight attendant served up a lot more than peanuts and sodas on one recent trip.

Philippine Airlines crew member Patrisha Organo breastfed a crying baby on a flight Tuesday when the infant’s upset mom revealed she was out of formula.

The flight attendant broke down the adventure in a Wednesday…

Life Style – New York Daily News

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A Smelly Fruit Nearly Grounded a Flight After Passengers Fought for Its Removal

Durian is considered by many to be the smelliest fruit in the world. And when it was loaded into a plane’s cargo hold in Indonesia recently, its smell was enough to make passengers fight back.

Two tons of durian fruit was placed inside the hold of a Sriwijaya Air flight from Bengkulu to Jakarta. The smell was so bad that passengers demanded that the fruit be removed. After facing some backlash from air crews, the passengers nearly got into physical altercations to have it removed from the hold, according to the BBC, which earlier reported on the row.

Durian has 30 species and more than 100 varieties in Indonesia, alone. It’s thorn-covered and can grow as long as 12 inches. While some people can detect something sweet in the fruit’s odor, others believe it smells similar to raw sewage.

Airlines often carry products in their cargo hold to increase flight profitability. In most cases, airlines can transport products without informing their customers what’s in the hold and customers don’t typically have any say in what the flight will carry.

According to accounts from passengers, they could immediately smell durian when they got onto the flight and soon started requesting its removal from the cargo hold. Passengers chanted, saying they wouldn’t fly with durian in the cargo hold.

Their protests worked: the passengers were asked to get off the plane while the durian was removed from the hold. The plane eventually took off an hour after its scheduled departure time without any durian inside.

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A Man Who Allegedly Groped Another Passenger on a Southwest Flight Invoked Trump in His Defense

A Florida man cited President Donald Trump in his defense after being accused of groping a woman on a Sunday flight.

The man in question, Bruce Michael Alexander, was arrested following a Southwest flight from Houston to New Mexico on Sunday and charged with “abusive sexual contact.”

The victim claims that she awoke to the passenger behind her touching her “around her bra line,” according to the affidavit. Around 30 minutes later, she felt someone grab her again. She then confronted the man sitting behind her and asked a flight attendant to allow her to change seats.

When the plane landed in Albuquerque, Alexander was arrested. He denied touching the woman in question, but later told officers that “the President of the United States says it’s OK to grab women by their private parts,” presumably referring to the Access Hollywood “grab ’em by the pussy” video.

In a written statement, Alexander claimed he had been asleep for most of the flight and while he remembered a woman sitting in front of him, he could not describe her. Authorities, meanwhile, say Alexander’s hands match the description provided by the woman.

Alexander is due to appear in court on Tuesday. If convicted, he could face up to two years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine.

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Ever Been Bumped Off a Flight? The Airline Could Owe You $700

Traveling is full of adventure and fun — and often, headaches. If you’ve flown at some point in the past few years, you’ve probably experienced your fair share of delays and cancellations.

Though all are inconvenient, the most frustrating experience is being “bumped” off an overbooked flight, which happens most often around the holidays and other peak travel times.

You may have thought that getting bumped was just the price of admission for flying. In reality, though, it’s illegal for the airlines to overbook flights — and you’re entitled to compensation if it happens to you.

AirHelp, a startup based in New York City, is here to help you with the process of getting paid when you’re delayed.

Who Can Use AirHelp

If you’ve been denied boarding, or your flight has been delayed or canceled within Europe or the United States in the past three years, you may qualify for reimbursement of up to $ 700.

As outlined by AirHelp, the laws vary greatly between Europe and the U.S.:

For flights to and from the European Union:

Unless caused by extraordinary circumstances beyond the airline’s control, you must be financially compensated if your flight is canceled, overbooked or arrives late by three hours or more.

For flights in the United States:

If you’re denied boarding, you’re eligible for 200% of your one-way fare if you get to your final destination between one and two hours late, with a cap of $ 675.

If you arrive at your final destination more than two hours late, you’re eligible for 400% of your one-way fare, with a cap of $ 1,350. (You’re not eligible for compensation for delayed or canceled flights.)

How AirHelp Works

If you think you might qualify for a reimbursement, fill out a simple online form on AirHelp’s website or in its app.

You’ll answer a few basic questions about your flight: airline, date and time, why it was delayed or canceled or why you were denied boarding.

Once you submit your information, AirHelp immediately notifies you whether your flight is eligible for compensation. If your flight qualifies, AirHelp starts to petition the airlines on your behalf.

The company has a “no win, no fee” policy, which means you only pay if it wins compensation from the airline. If and when AirHelp successfully receives compensation, it will transfer the money directly into your bank account, minus a 25% fee for regular customers and a 35% fee for online travel agency customers.

What It’s Like to Use AirHelp

It sounds like a great idea, but does AirHelp actually work? I decided to test it out.

Since I didn’t think any of my recent flights would be eligible, I entered the information for a friend’s Spirit Airlines flight that was more than 12 hours late. Since domestic flights are eligible for compensation only if you’ve been denied boarding, AirHelp said it didn’t qualify.

Trying to assuage my disappointment, AirHelp asked if it could search my email for old itineraries that might qualify. I synced it with my Gmail, and 15 minutes later, I received an alert that it had finished searching. Unfortunately, I once again came up empty-handed.

Lauren Lowther, of Kansas City, Missouri, had better luck. This past holiday season, she’d paid a whopping $ 2,200 for a round-trip ticket to Paris to see her husband’s family.

When it came time to return home, she ended up sitting on the tarmac at Charles de Gaulle Airport for five hours waiting for a spare part; eventually, the captain announced they weren’t leaving until the next day.

When they disembarked, the flight attendant told them they qualified for reimbursement and even gave them information about how to get it. But when Lowther submitted her claim through the online portal, it was denied.

“I thought that was odd since they told us at CDG [the airport] we had the right to be reimbursed,” says Lowther. “So I submitted again and was rejected again. I know I tried at least two times — I believe I also tried a third. It just said, ‘Unfortunately, we are unable to honor your request.’ I was shocked, because it was completely their fault.”

Understandably frustrated, Lowther enlisted AirHelp. Two months after submitting her claim online, the company wired €450 (about $ 487 at the time) into her bank account — her compensation after AirHelp’s 25% commission.

Kate May, a Hajoca Corporation recruiter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, also received €450 thanks to AirHelp — as did her husband. The best part? Neither of them had to lift a finger.

On their way home from a vacation in Denmark, May and her husband were delayed by eight hours due to an engine issue. They hadn’t pursued any reimbursement when, six months later, AirHelp contacted her husband.

“Honestly, we thought it was a scam,” she says, “but after researching it and providing a little personal information, we got a pretty big refund.”

It took a little more than two months for her husband (who filed first) to receive his reimbursement of €450, and then six weeks for her to collect.

Close to $ 1,000 for filling out a brief form? It sounds like a good deal, and May agrees. “While they do charge a service fee,” she says, “they did all the legwork, and that was worth it.”

As for Lowther, would she use AirHelp again?

“Oh, completely,” she says. “I would’ve had zero compensation if it wasn’t for them.”

In a world of rising airfare, baggage fees, and endless delays, it’s nice to see a company giving a little bit of power back to the consumer. The next time you’re bumped off a flight, you know who to call.

Susan Shain (@Susan_Shain) is a freelance writer and travel blogger who is always seeking adventure on a budget.

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