Tag Archives: Guestblog

Guestblog: Split Airport – things to do when your flight is delayed

You have heard the phrase a thousand times over, “time passes in a blur…” Very true. Except when you are waiting for a delayed flight in a busy airport departure lounge. It is even worse when the flight is canceled altogether. As someone who has been caught in such situations a dozen times in the past, I have made it my duty to discover fun things to do in various cities around the world if my flight is delayed or cancelled. Of all the destinations I have covered this far, none has provided as much choice and variety of activities to do as Split in Croatia.

I hereby share some of the best distractions for airline passengers facing prospects of delayed flights in the bustling city. As you can see, the suggestions are varied enough to offer options to travelers delayed for short to lengthy periods of time as the case may be.

Here are suggestions of what to do if you are in Split airport (SPU) and:

Your flight is delayed for 2 hours or less…

If you have about a couple of hours to spend waiting for your delayed flight, you do not have to spend that time twiddling fingers or browsing through a boring magazine in the lounge. Owing to its scenic location and very busy nature of business, Split Airport is known the world over as a perfect place to go airplane spotting.

The seaside promenade on the historic city of Trogir offers the best view of planes landing and taking off as it lies just below the glide path to the airport’s Runway 05. But if you do not have enough time to go all the way to Trogir (the old city is on an island just off the airport itself), opt for a strategic location just outside the airport as the runways are very close to the airport boundaries. You will be surprised at the number of tourists and locals enjoying the same fascination.

Your flight is delayed for 3 to 6 hours…

For a lengthier delay stretching for up to six hours, you have a wide selection of attractions in and around the city. I would highly recommend a visit to the Diocletian’s Palace in the historic sector of the city. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the palace was built at the height of the Roman Empire and is amazingly preserved to the present day. You will be enthralled by the hulking height of the palace’s four gates: the Golden Gate (Porta Aurea in Latin, or Zlatna vrata in Croatian), the Silver Gate (Porta Argenta in Latin, or Srebrna vrata in Croatian), Iron Gate (Porta Ferrea in Latin, or eljezna vrata in Croatian) and Bronze Gate (Porta Aenea in Latin, or Mjedena vrata in Croatian.

Your flight is delayed for 7 to 12 hours…

For travelers whose flights have been delayed for up to 12 hours, I would recommend going for something other than mere sightseeing. Of the various recommendations I could make, none make as much sense as going for a snorkeling adventure of the coastal waters of Split. The PADI diving center is a licensed snorkeling club and even if you have zero experience in the pastime, you will soon be having a wild time of it under the guidance of expert snorkelers who know how to make the experience a fun filled outing.

Your flight is cancelled or delayed by over 12 hours…

The news that your flight has been cancelled or delayed for longer than 12 hours may feel like a vicious kick in the tummy but you should not let it dampen your spirit. I was once caught up in similar circumstance at this very airport and I forgot the inconvenience of it all by opting to go for a sailing experience around the amazing Dalmatian coastline. After all, it is not for nothing that Croatia is known as a sailing paradise.

There are many boat charter agencies within a 10-20 minutes’ taxi drive from the airport. From there you will be able to charter a vessel of your choice and set off for an all day long sailing adventure. The one important thing you should keep in mind is getting familiar with the Croatian sailing guidelines with important numbers and danger signals which will keep you safe while on board.

The Dalmatian coastline has well over a thousand islands and islets each with its own story and landscape. We hope this tips will help you get the most out of a delayed or cancelled flight and you will use this opportunity to see more of the beauty Split has to offer.

About the author: Romeo Demes is a passionate writer and blogger from Croatia. He lived more than half of his life in the beautiful Dubrovnik. He travels a lot and has seen many amazing places, but you know how they say – no place feels like home.

[Image source: http://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zra%C4%8Dna_luka_Split#mediaviewer/File:Split_airport_and_Ciovo_from_air.jpg]

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]

Guestblog: Antidotes to Jet Lag

After a long international flight, it’s common to wander around in a fog for the next couple of days. It can be an issue whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure. Even Paris loses some of its appeal when seen through a sleep-deprived haze! Seasoned flyers use a few tricks to tame jet lag or defeat it altogether. Reclaim those valuable first days on the ground with these strategies.

Continue reading Guestblog: Antidotes to Jet Lag

Guest post: An Enjoyable Time at the Airport? It’s Possible.

Even frequent fliers get fed up with airports, but there are ways to make your experience a little brighter. When you can’t get to a luxury hotel—and have to stay put at the airport—trying to find ways to keep you busy is an adventure. Restaurants and specialty visitor shops get dull really quick. With a little creativity and a Wi-Fi connection, however, your waiting time will be a breeze. Here are a few tips that can help transform an airport nightmare into a more pleasant experience:

Continue reading Guest post: An Enjoyable Time at the Airport? It’s Possible.

Guest blog: It’s Time to Change the Way We Think About Flying (And Life in General)

Whenever there seems to be a delay or disruption or problem during a flight, we keep coming back to the same idea: what can the airlines do to make life easier for passengers?

Well, today we’re going to take a look at the flipside of this: What can passengers do to make life easier for other passengers?

Whoa! Hang on. You mean, I, THE PASSENGER, actually have to DO something other than COMPLAIN about long security lines, poor service, crying babies, and endlessly waiting on runways?

Well, you don’t HAVE to do anything. But, if you’ve recently been inspired by the Olympics and can’t swim or throw a javelin but really want to do your part to bring this world a little closer together, here are a few tips to consider:

  • When you’re going through security, PLAN AHEAD. Don’t act surprised when they ask you to remove your laptop from its bag, or take off your shoes. You know the routine. Be a boyscout. Be prepared. There will always be security rules you don’t agree with. But your cooperation with the rules will make the lines shorter.
  • Quit creating personal turbulence. Look behind you to see if the person behind you just place a beverage on their tray or is trying to stack a row of quarters before slamming your seat back into their lap. Pretend the person seated in front of you is Oprah, or Gwenth Paltrow. Would you really be so quick to slam your tray table into place knowing you might cause discomfort to such beautiful, dignified women?
  • Plan your pee breaks accordingly. Unless you have just acquired a new human endoskelton in a dramatic mind/body swap experiment, you should’ve spent enough time with your body to know how your bladder works. Don’t suck down six grande lattes and then insist on the window seat.
  • Be willing to lend a hand whenever possible. If you see someone struggling to get their bag in the overhead bin, give them a hand. If a kid is screaming during your red eye flight, offer to take them to the back of the plane and lock them in the lavatory. If Lindsay Lohan is on your flight and trying to score some coke, offer to make the transaction for her so she doesn’t end up on the tabloids again and ruin her chances at an Oscar.

It’s the little things that count.

Flying, like anything else worth doing, is a group effort. It takes thousands upon thousands of individuals to get these big giant planes off the ground and people shuttled from city to city across the globe. And yes, while it is someone else’s job to fly the plane, I think we need to begin to take a little more responsibility outside of the cockpit.

Let’s face it. We all want a better travel experience, and we’re all in this together. So let’s all do our part.

Jeff Michaels is the author of Please Hug Me—I’ve Been Delayed: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Survive the Not-so-Friendly Skies. www.beendelayed.com

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by busy.pochi]

Guestblog: How airports prepare for emergencies

The recent disappearance of Air France Flight 447 off the coast of Brazil raises the question of how airports prepare and handle emergencies. Although the A330 did not send out a distress call, or was able to return, or divert to a nearby airport, airports are prepared for such events, and have very strict protocols of how to deal with various emergencies that occur on the airfield.

All FAA Part 139 airports in the United States are required to have an Airport Certification Manual with an outline of procedures for response teams, such as ARFF (Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting), law enforcement, and airport operations in order to respond to emergencies ranging from aircraft alerts to medical situations. Airports in other countries that are regulated or lease any part of the airfield from the government will have similar regulations in place. An airport needs to be regulated and occasionally audited to ensure that airport staff is adequately trained to deal with such emergencies.

Flights that have been victim of a hijacking, bomb threat, or mechanical failure are serious instances that require special training. Typically, when a Captain receives notice of a bomb threat or hijacking, the aircraft will land immediately and airport officials will direct the aircraft to a safe and unpopulated area of the airfield. Law enforcement officials will be escorted to the aircraft where they will take incident command and proceed with their own procedures.

When Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana, the city of New Orleans did not have a plan of scale to evacuate elderly residents and those without transportation. The city, which owns the airport has devised an emergency plan, with the help of a private company, and approved by government officials is now in place for the next potential hurricane. The plan includes preferred routes for traffic flow into the airport facility for those being bused or flown out.

Air France Flight 447, an Airbus 330, was flown into a strong storm off the coast of Brazil where it suffered from severe turbulence and a possible lighting strike which may have induced an electrical failure, ultimately causing it to go down. The flight crew reportedly never declared an emergency, but if they were closer to the shore and were able to glide with or without power to a nearby airport, it would have been classified as an Alert III, the most serious of all aircraft emergencies. The airport would be responsible for responding with ARFF and medical teams to evacuate passengers and crew. If the plane were disabled and crippled on the runway, the airline or owner would be responsible for removing it at their cost. The cost of removal is never the responsibility of the airport, but if an actual large scale crash does occur in the vicinity of the airport, a closure is imminent until it can be cleared.

[Article provided by Jeffrey from Airport Chronicles exclusively for LateDeparture.com – Picture shows the disappeared Air France jet with the registration F-GZCP and comes from Flickr, some rights reserved]

Guest blog: Venice Marco Polo Airport

At first sight, getting delayed at Venice airport (IATA: VCE) might seem like a boring misfortune.

You should rethink that.

Yes, Venice Marco Polo Airport is small compared to many other touristic destinations, but what makes it interesting is the possibilities it gives you to do a different kind of shopping.

In fact, you will find a wide selection of Murano Glass, one of the most original presents you can bring home from Italy, together with series of Venetian masks, so typical of the Venetian Carnival for centuries.

If your interest is focused on cars instead, what’s one of the first brands to come to your mind, and one of the first people associate with Italy? Ferrari! There you go, a Ferrari store for you to browse between gadgets, car models, toys and clothes, with items from the toddler (future F1 champion?) to the navigate fan.

Last but not least, Marco Polo airport is a heaven for coffee lovers, with espressos served in several tastes and fashions (chocolate, condensed milk, cream; which make you wonder if you should try them all, defying caffeine and the doctors…).

In a globalised world, which often seems a replication of the same shopping centre over and over again, Venice airport is the ideal place to get delayed at (hopefully not for too long though!) for the range of options of “last minute” gifts that will change an embarrassing empty handed return home into an opportunity to show off originality and taste.

Airport Facts and Ratings

Airport Name Venice Marco Polo airport
Website http://www.veniceairport.it
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Shopping LateDeparture.com Plane Award PointLateDeparture.com Plane Award PointLateDeparture.com Plane Award PointLateDeparture.com Plane Award Point
Toilets LateDeparture.com Plane Award PointLateDeparture.com Plane Award PointLateDeparture.com Plane Award PointLateDeparture.com Plane Award Point
Overall LateDeparture.com Plane Award PointLateDeparture.com Plane Award PointLateDeparture.com Plane Award Point

[Picture from the airport’s official website.]