The Latest in Flight Delay Prediction Technology

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Flight delay

I’ll admit, I have pretty good luck when it comes to flying. While my suitcase is usually among the last to pop out on the baggage claim carousel, I’ve never had one go missing. And despite averaging around 10 flights per year, seldom are they delayed, let alone canceled.

But I know I’m in the minority. I hear horror stories from friends and family about sitting grounded on the tarmac for five hours or seeing a flight scrapped and having to sleep in the airport overnight.

These problems will never go away, but they may have just gotten a little easier to avoid, according to a NYTimes blog post detailing a new app called FlightCaster. By crunching numbers from a decade’s worth of historical flight records and forecasts from the National Weather Service, FlightCaster claims to be able to predict flight delays up to six hours prior to their scheduled takeoff.

That is, it can send you a heads-up before you actually leave the house for the airport. Not too shabby.

The web version of FlightCaster is free to use, and they offer apps for your iPhone and Blackberry that run $4.99.

Happy flying!

* Photo by TheeErin

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