Heavy levels of smog in Harbin, China. December 2012.

This week: Smog closes airport, rowdy passengers in Florida & more

This week’s been another one that was dominated by airport news coming from the United States. We managed to find one or two from other parts of the world too though, here are our topics for this week:

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Dry ice

This week: Dry ice bomb at LAX, Kangaroo at Melbourne & more

The talk of this week certainly was the dry ice bomb at LAX. It’s therefore not surprising we’re also going to focus on this event in this week’s airport news round-up. Here are all the topics:

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Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER

This week: Korean Air’s late departure, Atlanta’s second airport & more

We’re back after our extensive trip through the U.S. – watch this space for some upcoming posts! But back now to our weekly airport news round-up: This week started relatively quiet and then certainly picked up the pace with interesting airport news towards the end. So, here’s what we have for you for this week:

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Apple Maps Problem in Alaska

This week: Apple’s misguided airport directions, snake on Qantas plane & more

Well, well, well. In our head it seemed like a very busy airport related news week, however some news just kept re-appearing. Plus we’ve travelled ourselves, from Asia back to Australia, this week too. Both of those things initially clouded our judgement, we guess. It’s actually been a fairly quiet week. Here’s what we found:

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Aerial view of Bangkok Airport

This week: Bangkok runway incident, Boston’s 911 mishap & more

After a few slower week, this one has seen quite a few airport related news headlines again. Here’s what we’re going to recap for you today:

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No access - Teachers block access to Mexico city airport

This week: Teacher’s block access to airport (again), Chicago surprises & more

Let’s get straight to it – this week we found the following airport related topics for you:

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Radiation Warning

This week: Radioactive material unclaimed at Indian airport & more

Did you know that we go through airport related news at least once a day? Those news articles that we find worthy to share then get tweeted out to the world. And when we do these weekly news round-ups, it’s a fairly straight forward affair as we only have to go back to your own Twitter account and select the most interesting/most important stories of that week to be summarize here. Long story short, this week, we only tweeted 3 stories. So what?, you may ask. Well, this means that we were either slacking (nope, not our style!) or there just wasn’t much interesting going on in the world of airports this week. And the latter is exactly what happened.

So whilst we could have tweeted about a new breast feeding station at a U.S. Airport, Edinburgh airport’s success of attracting 1 Million passengers or Lady Gaga’s flamboyant arrival at Heathrow this week – we chose not to. Why? Well, frankly we didn’t see those stories being of global importance. Grey area with Lady Gaga maybe, but then we recently had plenty gossip weeks already. We’re not the Daily Mirror after all.

So, what are those world moving stories you found this week, you may want to know at this stage. Here they are:

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Mexico City Airport

This week: Strikes at Mexico City airport, Singapore’s expansion plans & more

Five topics crystallized from the seabed of airport related news this week, here they are:

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Delays Board

Guestblog: Footing the bill – how much do airport delays really cost?

In the USA, approximately 44,000 flights (1.66%) have already been cancelled this year, and over 5,000 have been diverted. Whilst in a numbers way this doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s still caused countless hours of anger and upset for the many passengers that have been caught up in delays and cancellations, but just how much will it all end up costing them? Quite a lot really.

Why flights are delayed?

Flight Delays - Pie Chart

Some of the number one reasons why flights turn up late include:

  1. Aircraft issues with maintenance.
  2. Short-staffed aircrafts.
  3. Aircraft cleaning in progress.
  4. Baggage loading.
  5. Aircraft refuelling.
  6. Extreme weather.
  7. Airline glitches.
  8. Air traffic congestion.
  9. Late aircraft arrivals.
  10. Security issues.

At Heathrow Airport in the UK, almost £3.5m is spent on offloading luggage belonging to passengers that have been too late in reaching the terminal in time. Around 50,000 minutes are thought to be wasted on this annually.

The airport has recently implemented a new smart boarding system, which sees passengers assigned electronic cards that hold all of their details. The cards can be swiped at the gates and can direct passengers to the correct terminal, or back to the check-in desk if they’re late for their flight.

The cards have been piloted and it’s been found that 44% of the participants were at risk of missing their flights, so it might not be all the airline’s fault when it comes to delays!

How much do flight delays cost airlines?

Airlines can pay a hefty price for delayed flights, as they must pay fines if domestic and international aircrafts sit on the runway for extended periods of time.

Direct Airline Operating Costs (DAOCs) show exactly how much an airline has spent on specific areas of business, and delays are a huge drain on airlines’ resources.

In 2012, extra fuel consumed by delays cost an additional $3.6m, paying for crew members (pilots and flight attendants) to work longer hours cost almost $1.5m, maintenance of delayed flights racked up a $1.1m charge and the cost of actually owning a delayed aircraft cost airlines almost $730k. ‘Other’ factors included in the increase in prices cost airlines nearly $250k, with the total bill amounting to around $7.2bn.

It’s not just the actual running of the delayed aeroplane that can end up costing airlines more though – airports also see the effects.

Delayed flights see an increase in passengers stuck in the airport, which means things can get much, much busier. It’s estimated that airlines spent billions of dollars on additional staff and extra gate openings in 2012 alone.

How much do flight delays cost passengers?

Airport Sleeping

Many people think delayed flights are just an inconvenience for passengers, but this really couldn’t be any further from the truth. It’s thought that passengers foot a $16.7bn bill each year due to late flights.

However, it’s possible for passengers to claim compensation for their delay.

You might be able to seek compensation if you waited for over two hours, are expecting to travel over 932 miles and are protected by the Denied Boarding Regulation (if you’re travelling with an EU-based airline or with a non-EU based airline from an EU airport).

Unfortunately, you won’t be entitled to compensation if your flight was delayed for severe weather and will have to find accommodation and food for yourself, if you’re expected to be delayed overnight.

Flight delays can be incredibly annoying, but they can also break the bank if you aren’t careful. Do you know anything else about how much they can end up costing?

This guest post was written by Aurora Johnson on behalf of Air Charter Service, a specialist private jet service in the UK.

 

[Images courtesy of jec.senate.gov and Shutterstock]

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