Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Keeping the pasenger informed - airline style

Our flight from the Gold Coast was slightly delayed.    Apparently the cause was bad weather earlier in the day in Melbourne.  I guess the airlines can't be held responsible for that - although it does seem to me that their scheduling these days is so tight that no margin exists for the slightest contingency.

We weren't travelling Tiger, but I noted with interest that a scheduled 10 am Tiger arrival hadn't turned up by the time we were in the airport, around about 1 pm - and no expected time was shown.  I drew my own conclusions about that, and will continue to pay a few extra dollars to use another (any other) airline!

But the point that concerned me was that, shortly before the scheduled time of departure of our flight (obviously after the scheduled time of boarding), an announcement was made that boarding would be delayed by 15 minutes.    At this point in time, the plane that was to operate our flight hadn't even arrived!    The eventual delay was a little over 30 minutes. It's not the delay that troubles me, it's the fact that airlines seem consistently to understate the duration of the delays.

Obviously in such a precision environment as air travel, the airlines are well aware of the true state of affairs.   My rule-of-thumb, when I hear an announcement about a delay, is to double the announced delay, and this recent experience confirms that approach.

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