As I sit here in the airport at 3:30 am waiting for my crack of dawn flight, I am in a daze. I have just traveled for over 30 hours and am still not at my final destination yet. The last few times that I have visited my family or gone overseas I have gotten caught in a series of significant setbacks. The reasons are plenty and even reasonable: no pilots, no crew, no plane, weather, no parking for a plane, an actual maintenance repair, paperwork, you get the idea. I have just been unfortunate when it comes to the airline informing me of what to expect when something does come up.
For example a flight that I took this summer to go and visit my parents that my kids only get to take once a year kept on getting postponed. Add an hour or 45 minutes to the delay every time and when it actually came time to load the airline, the airline would suddenly bump it back more. This gets tough for adults and children alike. The thinking that you are going to board and take off, only to have your world rocked when they just delay the flight a little more eventually reaching nearly 12 hours of standing by for the flight to board and take off. My kids could have dealt with it much better if they just knew from the first place that it was delayed the entire day. We wouldn’t have had to be ready the entire day which also makes the travelers life a bit better (even though the delay itself is unfortunate).
This trip home from Europe was the same. The first flight was on time and the second, was delayed multiple times with no explanation. We eventually got on and flew home but the anticipation or lack of knowledge of the cause is actually the bigger issue. It is not hard to say, “we messed up and are scrambling to get a crew, we don’t know when or who it will be but we are trying” Or “the weather is preventing your pilots from getting to this flight in time. Based on the fact that they are X miles away we can expect them on this amount of time.” Those types of answers can make it easier for the user to manage their potential stress and for sure their mood as they patiently wait to get going.
Wen I look at flying when I was younger, it seemed like there were fewer delays, fewer issues and lower stress. Now you have to get to the airport 3 hours early which is ridiculous and even then it doesn’t mean you will make it through the ticket counter or the TSA in time to make your flight.
So when you doe travel, stay happy even when those delays come your way.