Airport Travel Delays Are Piling Up & Here's How To Check Your Flight Status Ahead Of Time

'Tis the season for air travel chaos!

Planes on the runway. Right: Passengers at the airport.
Global Staff Writer

Planes on the runway. Right: Passengers at the airport.

Global flight cancellations have made air travel extremely annoying in 2022, but that doesn't mean you have to hang around the airport for hours the next time your trip gets delayed.

Although it's difficult to avoid air-travel issues altogether, there are a few little hacks you can use to find out if your flight is delayed before you ever leave for the airport.

Some of these tricks might even come in clutch in the near future.

According to pilot Patrick Smith, who runs a blog called Ask The Pilot, flight delays are actually entirely predictable if you know where to look.

"The most obvious clue, of course, is checking the weather," Smith told Travel + Leisure.

Bad weather most likely translates to delayed flights for pretty obvious reasons. However, bad weather can mean different things depending on where you are.

"Some hubs are more prone to delays than others," Smith explained. "A few inches of snow in Denver or Detroit aren't a big deal. Snow in Washington or Dallas, on the other hand, can cause problems."

Smith's advice is bang-on, because weather was responsible for roughly one-quarter of all flight delays each month in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Another way to track whether your flight is going to be delayed or not is by checking on your aircraft's inbound status. If it's delayed at another airport and it's just sitting there on the tarmac, chances are your flight will be delayed, too.

"Knowing the plane's inbound status is a huge clue to how its outbound status might be affected," said Smith.

Tracking down your plane is actually pretty simple with the help of airline websites and various apps.

For example, Delta Airlines' app has the option to check where your plane is by tapping on "Where's My Plane?" The app will show you the aircraft's exact status so you can track delays.

Even if your airline doesn't have this feature, you can look up any aircraft on FlightAware, a free third-party website.

If you track your plane and see that the journey before your flight was delayed, chances are your flight will also be delayed.

You can also check out Flighty, which tracks data about your plane and flags problems that may affect your departure time.

Flighty's founder and CEO, Ryan Jones, says airlines are always trying to delay flights as little and as late as possible, despite the fact that you can spot the problems earlier in the process.

"What we're trying to do is tell the truth as soon as possible," he told Travel + Leisure.

So there you have it! Grab one of these apps, check the weather and look up your aircraft before you head to the airport, and next time you just might save yourself a big headache.

Sameen Chaudhry
Global Staff Writer
Sameen Chaudhry was a Staff Writer for Narcity’s Global Desk focused on TikTok drama and based in Toronto, Ontario.