Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Air Travel
Reload this Page >

Do you check for a flights on time statistics before you choose your flights?

Do you check for a flights on time statistics before you choose your flights?

Jul 27th, 2015, 07:36 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
Do you check for a flights on time statistics before you choose your flights?

I'm wondering if I should now check on time statistics before deciding which flight to choose. Do some airports have poorer on time statistics than others and Charlotte happens to be one of the delay prone airports?

I have been watching the departure times for a USAirways flight CLT to LHR that we will be taking in early September. What I am seeing is that the flight on time statistics for the last 3 weeks is horrible. Half the flights depart one, two or three hours late, one was 5 hours late and a flight this week was cancelled completely and since it was a turn around so was the return flight London to Charlotte.

The problem appears to be at CLT--Today the flight left 3 hours late due to aircraft maintenance, then it was reported to be air congestion on a previous flight and then back again to aircraft maintenance.

After arriving at LHR we are taking the train to Cardiff--since I had noticed the poor flight stats before purchasing my train tickets I opted to purchase the more expensive non-specific train tickets.

We usually fly out of PHL and (luckily) have seldom had a flight delay in the many years we have been traveling internationally. Right now I'm regretting my choice of the CLT to LHR flight this September.

I never thought to check on time statistics for a flight before purchase but I guess I'll have to add that to my things to research before buying a ticket.

Does anyone regularly check on time statitics or is that information not reliable? Thanks for any comments. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jul 27th, 2015, 11:24 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,393
I wouldn't even bother . Can't see the point
northie is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 04:00 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,506
I NEVER check the "on time" statistics before purchasing a ticket. What good would it do? You are looking at "averages" and there's no guarantee that the day you fly will be "average".

Let's suppose you have a choice of 2 different flights. Flight 1 has a record of being delayed 30% of the time. Flight 2 has a record of being delayed 5% of the time.

Using your theory you select Flight #2 but on the day you fly Flight #1 is having a better than average day and departs on time while Flight #2 is having a bad day is delayed so you are left sitting in the airport or on the tarmac.

In more than 30 years of travel I have flown well over 3 million miles on hundreds of flights both domestic and international, on big airlines and small commuter planes. The one thing I've learn is some flights leave on or near schedule and some flights get delayed. You can look at all the statistic you want but you cannot predict if a flight will be delayed.
RoamsAround is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 05:40 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,201
No.
I look at schedule and price.
abram is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 08:07 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802
I never do. Honestly, it has never occurred to me to check, but if I think about it, I see it as RoamsAround does.

Once you have booked your tickets, you are in the hands of an angry god, and no amount of planning and research can change that.
NewbE is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 08:37 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,547
I do.

I believe in planning, not praying.

If a flight is consistently late I wouldn't book a tight connection in the first place.

Also look up ticket exchange/standby policies, in a few cases paying the change fee works out less than a full fare ticket.
mlgb is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 09:28 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,522
I do occasionally - it really depends on if there is a tight connection.

If just flying directly somewhere -- nope.
janisj is online now  
Jul 28th, 2015, 11:16 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 591
Those stats for the last three weeks that you are seeing are scary. I'd be concerned if I were in your place and seeing those. Wise decision on the train tickets.

Like janisj, it depends on circumstances. If possible, we like to fly in a day or so early if we will be heading out elsewhere, or attending an important event.
evecolorado is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 12:07 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
Thank you for taking time to comment. US Airways/American does not seem to have an answer for me. This is the response to my question about the on time record of my flight

"We agree that it's entirely reasonable for our best customers to put on-time departures and arrivals at the top of their list of what to expect from their airline. We have followed through internally to ensure appropriate managers receive the benefit of your comments as we strive to improve our on time departures and arrivals.

We will continue to focus on the on-time operation of our flights. We all recognize that we have a responsibility to our loyal customers to depart as scheduled -- every time!"


I realize that knowing the on time info doesn't make a difference on any particular day but I feel better prepared in the "likelihood". The statistics I've been checking since I noticed the delays had me concerned enough that for this trip I will have a list of other flights that will get us to LHR on the same day so we can make any train to Cardiff.

I just found the website flightstats and this particular flight #730 CLT-LHR is rated very poor being 46% on time.

In the past I thought I had taken as many precautions as possible for successful international travels. Since we usually fly through a connecting airport I always leave at least one additional flight available before our overseas departure. We fly in well before a scheduled event and I buy trip insurance--it has worked well for me in the past but I wonder if I've ever flown on a flight with such a poor record.--not just poor but very poor!! LOL Thanks again for the comments. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 06:54 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
I seldom look at them, though I won't say never. But what do you expect the airline to tell you more than they have?

Anyways, sometimes it's not even necessary to look at those stats. I know summer time in the NE is bad, especially in the afternoon, winter time in Mid-west COULD be a problem, though not always so. SFO can have fog in the morning, while LAX seldom has problems.

Then, overall, morning flights are more likely to be on-time to afternoon ones. And if it's the last leg of a connection for me, I don't care if it's on-time unless I have sometime that needs to be done immediately upon arrival, etc...

And for the OP's case, it doesn't matter the on-time performance. Buying a fixed-time non-refundable train ticket is asking for trouble, since there's SO MANY factors - flight delay, immigration, transfer from LHR to train. Unless one gives hours of time in between, it's never to work.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 09:21 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 196
I do check on time statistics, but not always. If I have tight connections or I'm flying a route that doesn't operate frequently I'll definitely check the statistics before I book a flight.
planningtravel is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 11:00 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,719
Even with a flight having a good on-time record I prefer to buy non-restricted tickets when I have to connect to rail of bus.
As part of the overall budget of an intercontinental vacation, I find the extra costs for flexible rail tickets more or less negligable.
Plus you get the bonus to hop on any earlier rail connection when the flight arrives ahead of time or the airport procedures run more smoothly than anticipated.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2015, 10:58 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,420
I rarely do as it doesn't seem to matter. I agree it's usually time of day that helps and flying earlier helps. But it is true that some airports have notoriously longer delays than others (sometimes weather reasons, sometimes infrastructure). But if you must fly out of that airport, nothing you can do about it.

There aren't too many airlines that cause delays themselves, it seems to me, but I suppose you never know. SO it's probably something about the route or airport.
Christina is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:29 AM.