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Having experienced a few flight delays on my own, I'd like to know if there is some source of precise information about the delay (including up-to-date estimations of the delay and causes). So far it seems to me the only people who can actually inform about it is the air company staff, at the airport, and via oral announcements only.

I'd expect this information to be some sort of obligation, since compensations are related to the cause of the delay (if it's weather, it's OK for the company, otherwise the passengers have more rights, and so on), but I could not find a reliable source for this. At best, websites such as FlightStats indicate the estimated delay length, but never the cause (or probable cause).

Is this information available anywhere? I tried the airport's website and the flight company's website as well, but I couldn't find anything.

I see plenty of reasons why the company would not like to disclose this information, but I would expect some organism to enforce it.

Besides, the fact that they currently inform the passengers only via oral announcements seems quite inefficient and prone to generate stress among the passengers (and extra work to ground staff, which is forced to repeat again and again the same information...).

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I had a delay to SFO caused by fog and I found Flight Stats helpful to know the cause and also why and what way the situation in SFO. I was scared because it was the first of 3 flight. I hope this help. Sebastien –  Sebastien Dec 24 '13 at 20:16
    
Could you please tell me where have you found the cause of the delay on the website? Perhaps it depends on the company? In one flight I was looking at, the Event Timeline tab lists a dozen "Time Adjustment" events, with "Estimated Gate Departure Changed To ..." every time, but nowhere I could find anything related to "weather" or something similar. On the Overview tab, it only says "Status: En-Route - Delayed X minutes", but it never actually mentions why. –  anol Dec 24 '13 at 23:54
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Won't it depend a lot on the cause? Delays due to air traffic or weather will affect everyone, so an airport can easily push the information out. Delays due to missing crew won't probably have automated information to share, and delays due to technical issues will have the info only known to technicians and the maintenance department, so it's much harder to automatically push out the details –  Gagravarr Dec 25 '13 at 0:41
    
Not really what you want, but if you go into Airports / Delays then click on the little orange airplane, it shows reasons for delays (airport wide) –  CGCampbell Mar 3 at 14:37

1 Answer 1

In the United States, this information is reported to the Department of Transportation for

Carriers that have 1 percent of total domestic scheduled-service passenger revenue report on-time data and the causes of delay. In 2014, there are 14 carriers reporting these numbers.

The data are available at:

http://www.transtats.bts.gov/OT_Delay/OT_DelayCause1.asp

The delays are categorized as:

  • Security
  • Weather
  • National Aviation System
  • Late Arriving Aircraft
  • Carrier

There is no global repository for this information (a good business idea though!) however there would be similar requirements in many countries.

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