I spotted an article about the increasing volume of airline delays which have occurred this year. They say 25.2% of flights have been delayed. I must be picking the wrong routes because 30% of my flights have been delayed this year (not all that much more, I know). Or, to put it another way, three out of four trips have been affected by delayed flights, where I got home late or arrived at my destination late (1 am instead of 9pm for example...). When you have no choice but to connect in another city, delays can mess you up big time. Fortunately, I never had to stay overnight anywhere, but I enjoy flying a whole lot less this year than I have in other years. The flights are packed, I get stuck in the middle seat, a plane I'm getting on hasn't arrived from another city, I run to another terminal to catch a flight I to which I was bumped (original connection already missed) only to have that one delayed 3 hours, having to change planes once boarded because the radio doesn't work, and more. When flying to Oregon, the plane Ryan and I were on was 14th in line to take off because of runway construction in Minneapolis. I now avoid Chicago and would rather fly in the morning than evening. It seems there is a similar trend with flights as there is in doctor's offices - the afternoon appointments are nearly guaranteed to be late because they are behind from the morning. It seems weather-wise, spring and fall are best because there are no snow storms or thunderstorms.
What's the solution? I don't know - the whole industry is a mess with unions, legislation and more. A handful of customers who are upset enough to avoid certain airlines won't make much of a difference. Passenger traffic is continuing to increase, of course. My best bet is to take direct flights when possible, but there are none to Oregon at this point from Pittsburgh. I'm flying to Oregon for Thanksgiving and Christmas and should be prepared to be delayed. What has your experience been?