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Infographic: Why Airlines Have Weather Cancellations

It’s the time of year again where flights are getting delayed, cancelled and as we saw with JFK the other day, airports are even getting closed. So we decided to take a deeper look into airline cancellations and delays as well as what you can do when your flight is canceled or delayed. Take a look at the infographic below to see what we found out.


An infographic by Drew and Caroline at Travel is Free

Want this infographic on your site? Copy and Paste the Code Below

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  1. Excellent infographic – I posted a copy on my blog as well. I know it’s just a grammar nitpick but if it’s easily changed – in the bottom section “fee’s” should not have an apostrophe

    • Thanks Dan!
      Got that fixed. Good to get it early on. 😉

  2. I’m a big fan, but you’ve really got a lot of errors in this infographic…

    – the ATCSCC (or really, the FAA in general) has no power to cancel a scheduled flight
    – airlines generally have internal met departments, not outsourced ones. but they don’t decide to cancel flights in any case, that responsibility lies with dispatch, network planning, etc.
    – NWS has nothing to do with this besides reporting data (and it’s “service”, not “stations”)
    – a lot more than what you’ve listed goes into the “special tools” that airlines use to choose which flights to cancel – and obviously only the airline could make that call since they’re the only ones with the load data
    – in the worst weather (like this) fees likely will NOT apply for changing your travel, since airlines often issue waivers

    • Thanks Andrew,

      Let me clarify that the fees reference is regarding weather DELAYS.

      But obviously you have some industry knowledge if you have an opinion on weather or not they are outsourced. But the details have many sources perhaps that I should have included in the post itself. Like:

      Where it says “That final call comes from the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center”.

      This .gov http://climate.dot.gov/documents/workshop1002/kulesa.pdf


      and http://www.quora.com/Why-does-weather-cause-air-traffic-delays-Why-cant-just-as-many-planes-take-off-and-land-in-the-rain

      Obviously a lot more goes into this stuff. It’s in picture layman’s terms and we certainly tried to do our best. :-) Certainly outside of our niche though, but thought it was interesting.

      I’ll look into service vs stations though.

      • It’s true, knowing this stuff is my job…

        But seriously, the FAA does NOT cancel flights. Right from the horse’s mouth: http://www.fly.faa.gov/FAQ/faq.jsp question #1

        • So the line of the “final call comes from the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center” is incorrect? What would be a better wording for the infographic?

          • Sorry, a little late getting in on this one. The best wording is “The FAA ATSCC issues weather related delays to affected airports. The airlines ultimately decide which flights to cancel.” So, it’s not always the Federal governments fault when you are inconvenienced.

  3. awesome graphic! found your site. it’s my new site to read! love it!

    • Thanks, glad you found us!

  4. Nice infographic! It has good flow!

  5. Awesome infographic! I remember, on my flight (MSP-SEA) we were stranded in the plane for like a half hour. Not only your plane has to be de-iced, but other planes too. This creates an awful line.

    Also, if not cancelled then delayed, which is a disaster when there’s a layover.

    • Yea, in whether… if it gets delayed once, I assume it’s going to get delayed more. Every 15 minutes.

    • That was SO funny!

      I seriously would love to make an infographic called flying according to Dave Barry. Oh gosh the the fare chicken cracked me up. So funny.

      Thank you.

      Now to get his permission!


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