It is pretty much a fact these days that travellers need to spend more in order to make alternative travels plans in the event of a delay. However, the real question here is whether travellers are aware of what causes their delays?
According to Cirium, a firm that specialises in aviation data and analytics, cancellations and delays cost about $23 billion every year. The study has also revealed that around 38% of British flyers are left in the dark concerning delays or cancellations. This indicates a clear need for better disruption management and greater proactive communication between carriers and their respective customers.
Around 29% of Brits, who are categorised as “weather-obsessed,” look the other way when it comes to climate-induced disruptions. Another 33% stated that they would be understanding of delays caused by technical troubles.
In 2018, there were about 3.9 million flights reporting delays of over 30 minutes and cancellations across the globe. This affected around 20 million flyers in the UK alone. Across the globe, around 470 million people were affected.
Factors causing delays/cancellations
There is a range of factors that lead to flight delays and cancellations. Some of these are poor weather, ATC strikes, technical troubles, congestions, and even medical diversions. Making things worse is the fact that many passengers are unable to alter their travels plans. The Cirium study found that 27% of flyers from the UK found it extremely hard to make alternative travel plans, while another 32% stated that they ran out of money trying to do so.
But it isn’t just flyers who’re affected. Even airlines face the consequences of such disruptions. For every departing passenger, an air carrier loses £5.
The survey also revealed that 65% of passengers were left in the dark about a delay or cancellation. Most of them were forced to find out only after arriving at the airport. 29% of Brits stated that a text alert would suffice in such situations, while 51% stated that having an app for such purposes would be useful.
59% stated that the most frustrating delays/cancellations are the ones that happen during a leisure trip.
Reactions to causes vary
There were significant differences in how flyers reacted to the various causes of a delay or cancellation. 33% stated that they would be understanding of disruptions caused due to technical problems. 29% felt the same about delays caused by bad weather. However, when it came to delays/cancellations caused as a result of ATC strikes, only 3% of respondents stated that they would show sympathy.
The responses from the Brits weren’t very different from that of respondents from other parts of the globe. For instance, 31% of respondents in the US, China and UAE stated that it was necessary for airlines to keep them updated on cancellations and delays.
Experts added that flyers want a stress-free journey and measures need to be taken to provide exactly that. Studies, like the one conducted by Cirium, allow airlines to initiate such measures that minimise flight disruption with the help of data and analytics.