Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Is it possible my Southwest flight will be canceled?


Sometimes passengers become concerned that their flight might be canceled. Unfortunately, this usually leads to a lot of misconceptions about airline flight cancellations in general.


Gas%20gauge “I think they canceled my flight because it was not full”







While this may happen on an occasion, it is the exception to everyday airline operation. Airlines must carefully consider the operational and economic side effects of any flight cancellations.

Having your passengers inconvenienced is not a good way to do business. Those that operate airlines for a living on a daily basis know and understand this.


culture_club-do_you_really_want_to_hurt_me_s “I think they canceled my flight because Southwest wants to really hurt me”







If a flight is canceled not only must passengers be accommodated at the departure airport but at the arrival airport as well. The airplane that is used for your flight is normally needed at your destination to take other passengers to their destinations.

The airline must now also accommodate or re-position crews that will also be where they are not suppose to be. For an airline to operate efficiently it must do so with the precision of a Rolex. Everyday this is done by thousands of dedicated airline employees and airport support personnel.

With situations beyond it's control like weather and air traffic control restrictions most airlines do a respectable job getting their passengers from Point A to B.


thunderstorms “I think they canceled my flight because the pilots are too scared to fly through tornadoes and thunderstorms”







Jungle Chicks “What a bunch of chickens!”







Most cancellations occur around weather situations when flying becomes unsafe or impractical to do in a timely manner. I am afraid the new Passenger Bill Of Rights legislation will only further complicate this matter.

For more information on the effect of this legislation:


Weather delays can also cause flight crews to exceed their Federally (FAA) Mandated work and rest limitations. Sometime airlines can compensate for this by providing your flight with a new flight crew.


Picture 1591 “I think they canceled my flight because they don't want to fix their piece of junk airplane”





Today's airplanes are modern marvels and like your Mercedes occasionally they require maintenance at the wrong time. Airlines have aircraft mechanics available for such situations but quick fixes are not always an option.


pitts At times it may be necessary to use a completely different aircraft for your flight.






Based on Bureau Of Transportation Statistics ( American had 3 flight cancellations at Dallas (DFW) on 04/04/2010. With a conservative 200 departures a day from DFW this represents less than 2 percent of American Airline flights from Dallas. The same comparison can be made for Delta from Detroit or Southwest from Phoenix and most other airlines.



So relax, you will be fine. I hope you have a pleasant airline experience.









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