Everyone expects airports to report delays in the winter months, but people often forget that summer weather can wreak havoc on travel plans too! Did you know that 70% of flight delays are caused by bad weather? And it doesn’t have to be weather happening at your airport, it could be weather happening between points A and B. Summer weather can actually be worse than winter weather because the storms sneak up quickly, giving airlines less time to prepare. Winter storms tend to take more time to develop, allowing for more preparation.
Thunderstorms can be very tricky for pilots; the key is for the pilots and the air traffic controllers to work together. Sometimes planes are re-routed 20 miles or more, just to avoid thunderstorms or bad weather. The most dangerous part of the storm is their ability to cause microbursts or downdrafts, which are unpredictable. A downdraft is a vertical movement of air that can resemble tornado like damage. And don’t forget about hail and turbulence, the two biggest hazards to aircraft during a storm.
All of these factors play a role in summer weather delays at airports. If you learn that weather may cause your flight to be delayed or cancelled, get in line at the ticket counter and get on the phone with the airline. This will maximize your chances of rebooking your flight and hopefully minimize the disruption to your schedule. You can also check out social media, as some airlines are using platforms like Twitter to rebook flights and give additional customer service information.