Flight delays a major travel hassle

NEW DELHI, 9 April 2019: A new survey reveals well over a third of travellers have paid over the odds to make alternative travel plans following a delayed flight

Nearly two thirds would be likely to use an app, which alerted family, friends and colleagues if their flight was disrupted

Cirium, an aviation data and analytics company, says flight delays and cancellations cost airlines over USD30 billion a year

Over a third of global travellers (36%) say they don’t get enough information about delayed and cancelled flights, according to aviation and data analytics experts at Cirium.

The latest survey reveals the impact of flight delays and cancellations and the need for better management of flight disruption, with more communication via proactive flight updates for affected passengers.

In 2018, approximately 3.9 million flights – or 10,700 a day – were delayed by over 30 minutes or cancelled globally, affecting more than 470 million passenger journeys around the world.

Airline flight delays and cancellations are caused by a wide range of factors, such as technical issues with aircraft, bad weather, air traffic control problems, strikes, medical diversions and congested airports, among many others.

The global YouGov study conducted for Cirium in the UK, US, UAE and China, showed more than a third of travellers worldwide (35%) who had experienced a delayed or cancelled flight, did not find it easy to change their travel plans, with well over a third (40%) left out of pocket after being forced to pay more to make alternative travel plans.

Airlines also had to bear the massive cost of disruption with flight delays and cancellations costing the equivalent of USD7 for every departing passenger – slightly less than the airline’s net profit per person per departing flight.

The survey revealed nearly two thirds (57%) of those polled only found out about their flight delay or cancellation once they had reached the airport. When asked 29% said that they would prefer to be informed about a delay through a text alert with another two thirds (61%) saying they would use an app which alerted their friends, family or company about their delay.

More than double (48%) said that they would be most frustrated if their leisure flight was delayed or cancelled compared to the 21% who would be most frustrated if a business flight was cancelled.

Over a third of global travellers would be most sympathetic if a flight was disrupted due to bad weather (35%) followed by technical issues with their aircraft (30%).

However, only a tiny 5% would be most sympathetic with delays or cancellations due to problems caused by air traffic control.

Cirium analyzes more than 70 million passenger journeys annually to provide meaningful insights and keep the travel industry in motion.