Flightstats.com

Old Nov 8th, 2005, 06:13 PM
  #1  
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Flightstats.com

Interesting article in today's Wall St Journal about the flightstats.com website.

For example, if you go to the flightstats web site and click on "Check a Flight Rating" you can compare the ontime records of direct flights by various airlines between any two airports.

The Avg and Max numbers on the charts refer to the average delay and the maximum delay for any flight in the period.

By the way, the online Wall St Journal is free this week only: http://online.wsj.com/public/us
nonnafelice is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2005, 07:21 PM
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I just do not believe there is any value in studying all those stats. There are only variables - no constants.

YOUR flight will either be on time or not. Probability, therefor, is 50% either way. Averages are also useless. If YOUR flight is delayed, there's just no telling how long.

And, how about cancellations?
djkbooks is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2005, 07:45 PM
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It doesn't seem to be working right now, probably with too many inquiries.

But it can definitely be useful. The chance of a flight being delayed or not is NOT 50%. Some flights consistently do worse then others, so if one has a choice of flights, the information is valuable.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2005, 09:32 PM
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The "information" is positively irrelevant.

Your flight may or may not be delayed, or even cancelled! Once booked, you have "no choice of flights".

AND, it is widely known that - if your flight is delayed/cancelled, your are most likely to be "advised" that it is due to "weather" (for which the airline is not "responsible), rather than anything for which the airline IS reponsible. And, most folks actually BELIEVE this, even if no other flights during the same exact time period have been cancelled due to "weather".
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Old Nov 9th, 2005, 04:36 AM
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Flight xxx from AAA to BBB is delayed/cancelled 25% of the time in Jan to Oct this year.

Flight yyy from AAA to BBB an hour later is delayed/cancelled 5% of the time in Jan to Oct this year.

Would you bet that xxx will NOT be late/cancelled more than flight yyy for November? And that means your flight being cancelled tommorow is higher on yyy.

It's not that hard to understand. Things do not happen randomly. We're not talking about PowerBall here. Planes are late or delayed for reasons. Some flights are always late because the actual aircraft often comes in from a congested hub airport, so it arrives to the gate late.

Other flights are cancelled more often because it's a consistently low-revenue flight between hubs that an airline can cancel and put the passengers on a different flight an hour later easily.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2005, 09:16 AM
  #6  
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I'd suggest that people check the article in the Wall St Journal at:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113138730427890224.html

It explains why some flights are much more often canceled than others, especially those that are usually lightly booked or travel in and out of big hubs.

Also, I found it interesting that the stats site shows the average and maximum delay time. Suppose Airline A is late 20% of the time and Airline B 25% on your route. You might lean toward Airline A, other things being equal.

But if you know that Airline A's average delay is 60 mins as opposed to 15 for Airline B, and that their maximum delay in that period is 280 as opposed to 90 -- well, you might decide that you'd rather go with the one that has better odds to make your connections.

Of course there are no guarantees, but if you're deciding between two airlines on the same route, the airline's record is a factor you might take into consideration.
nonnafelice is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2005, 09:34 AM
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Well, I finally get to play with that site just now. For the "free samples", you cannot specify which time period to include for the "flight ratings". It appears to count flights during the last 30 days, but I could be wrong.

But the interface is pretty easy to use. And definitely more up-to-date than the reports I can search on FAA's website.

I agree with nonnafelice that the "average" delay time is pretty meaningless. One should look at how often the flight is delayed. If you have a connection, then its quite useful to know how often the flight is late for specific number of minutes.
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