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Why is my plane late??

You’re ready to head out on vacation. It’s a perfect day for flying and the forecast looks clear between your originating city and your destination. But, your plane is late, or worse, cancelled. There are a number of reason why this can happen. Computer outages can be a cause of major delays and cancellations, often taking days for an airline to fully recover. Anything from a software glitch to a power failure or even hackers can cause the carrier’s computer system to shut down, resulting in delays and cancellations. These outages can happen at any time and even though the problem gets fixed, both aircraft and crews have to get back into position so that normal flight activities can resume. Another reason can be mechanical issues, or, maybe even an untraceable beeping sound! Recently a pilot stopped into our New Jersey retail store and while looking for a bag, the discussion turned to flight delays and how a plane full of cruisers almost missed their vacation. After pushing back from the gate, but before takeoff, a flight attendant called the flight deck to report a strange beeping sound. Unable to pinpoint the source, the pilot had to return to the gate. A mechanic was called in, all passengers were deplaned and all luggage was removed from the aircraft. Once the full inspection was completed, no noise was found. Everything and everyone were then let back onto the plane and the flight departed several hours late. What caused the sound? Another flight attendant later mentioned that she did see a passenger playing an electronic game before takeoff! The passenger was not wearing headphones and had not turned down the volume on the game. This seemingly innocent mistake caused a flight delay and almost resulted in 30 plus people missing their cruise departure. This would be why you’re supposed to wear headphones when using electronic devices! (And it’s a good reason to fly in for a cruise the day ahead, but that’s another story!) Other reasons for delays can include bad weather along the route being taken by your inbound flight, baggage being loaded onto the wrong plane, threats against the airport or aircraft or even flight crew working too many hours (or even arriving at the airport in no shape to fly!) Sometimes, airspace will be temporarily restricted due to VIPs flying into an area. Next time you’re headed out to catch a flight, you’ll know that there are a large number of causes to late or cancelled flights and remember that the most important thing to pack is patience! Flight delays and cancellations are often unavoidable, but remember this: your airline does NOT want to cancel or delay your flight as it’s going to cause trouble for them too.

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