Why do flights get delayed?

Date: 12 DEC 22

Flights can be delayed for a variety of reasons, many of which are beyond the control of the airline.

One common reason for flight delays is bad weather. This can include things like thunderstorms, snowstorms, and high winds, which can make it difficult or unsafe for planes to take off and land. More recently we have seen snow, fog and ice cause massive disruptions across the UK.

Mechanical issues can also cause flight delays. Planes are complex machines, and even with regular maintenance, they can sometimes experience problems that prevent them from flying. In these cases, the airline will need to conduct repairs before the plane can take off, which can take time and cause delays. The safety of all passengers on board is paramount.

Air traffic control delays are another common cause of flight delays. Air traffic controllers are responsible for directing planes on the ground and in the air, and they must carefully manage the flow of traffic to ensure that planes are spaced out appropriately and can take off and land safely. If there is a lot of air traffic, this can lead to delays as planes must wait for their turn to take off or land. Air traffic control strike action will also result in delays and cancellations of flights.

Airport congestion can also cause delays. If an airport is experiencing a high volume of traffic, this can lead to long lines and delays at security checkpoints, as well as delays on the runway as planes wait for their turn to take off. Airlines very rarely "wait" for passengers stuck in security queues or if a connecting flight is late but it does happen.

Finally, flights can be delayed due to issues with the airline itself. For example, the airline may not have enough crew members available to operate the flight, or there may be a problem with the airline's scheduling. In these cases, the airline may need to make changes to its schedule in order to get the flight off the ground.

There are many reasons why flights can be delayed. While some of these are beyond the control of the airline, airlines will often work to minimize delays and get passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible. If you fly from the EU or on an EU airline you may be eligible for compensation under EU 261.

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