Flight delays happen… but they don’t have to happen to you

Nobody likes flight delays. Not the airlines, not the gate attendant who has to break the bad news to everyone, and certainly not you. Yet here’s how most of us fly: show up early at the airport hoping your flight is ok, get to the gate hoping it’s on time, and then settle into something ranging from quiet disappointment to ballistic rage when your flight is delayed. It doesn’t have to be this way. Enter flightsayer, a service that predicts flight delay days and hours ahead of scheduled flight time, helping you make better itinerary choices and respond proactively to possible delays.

Sunday October 16th was a particularly bad day in San Francisco. Hundreds of flights were delayed at SFO. “Not groovy, man”, an aging hippie was overheard saying. Imagine that you were planning to fly from Denver to SFO that evening on United Flight 257, scheduled to leave DEN at 7:25 pm and arrive in SFO at 9 pm (Just picking United here as an example, we love all airlines equally!)

Here’s what would have likely happened to most of your fellow passengers booked on that flight: all would have seemed fine until 6:15 pm (about an hour before departure) when they would have been told that their flight was late and would be only arrive at SFO at 10:30 pm; the flight eventually ended up being more than 3 hours late, arriving at SFO after midnight. Not groovy at all.

Your experience, however, was completely different because you had signed up at flightsayer.com to have your flight tracked. At 10pm the previous night, flightsayer sent you a note saying that your flight’s delay score was a 5, or a “moderate risk” of delay (1 being your perfect flight and 10 being delay hell). It also suggested a few alternatives: United 748 to San Jose at 7:03 pm and Southwest 1230 to Oakland at 7:55 pm. There were no alternatives to SFO because all flights to SFO were predicted to be a 5 or higher. You decided to sleep on it — I mean, you’ve got nothing against San Jose or Oakland, but you really like SFO. The next morning at 8 am, flightsayer told you that your flight’s score was now a 7 (at “high risk” of delay), and that you should really consider flying into SJC or OAK. You switch to United 748 to SJC, get to the airport half an hour before you otherwise would have, and you’re on your way. Good thing too, because your flight to SJC was only 30 minutes late (and the one to OAK was 32 minutes late) — but that beats being 3 hours late any day. It also turns out that all other flights from DEN to SFO that evening were delayed at least an hour and 45 minutes. You walk out of the airport with that I-just-beat-the-system swagger. You’re welcome.

Head on over to flightsayer.com to track your next flight, and fly happy!

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