Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Stupid Tip of the Day: Leave Enough Time For Travel In Case of Irregular Operations

When you think about it, the operations of airlines perform rather well every day to the point that we generally take them for granted — so much so that smooth operations without problems can be expected by some people…

Stupid Tip of the Day: Leave Enough Time For Travel In Case of Irregular Operations

…but those expectations can be rather high — arguably beyond being realistic. Consider the case of FlyerTalk member txskygal, who missed the graduation of her nephew from college and placed the blame squarely on American Airlines. Her flight from Dallas to Tucson was scheduled to depart at 9:35 in the morning; but the departure time was delayed by almost six hours due to irregular operations caused by two separate mechanical failures. Unfortunately, a departure of 3:30 in the afternoon rendered attending that graduation impossible at that point; so txskygal did not bother to fly as a passenger to Tucson.

As an airline is obligated to transport its passengers safely, its management and employees always err on the side of caution, which txskygal apparently seems to understand; but the following statement could possibly suggest otherwise:

“I am an aviation professional, with almost 29 years in the industry, with multiple airlines. I can fly on any airline I wish. I KNOW how airline operations work, intimately.”

Anyone who claims to intimately know how airline operations work would understand that delays and cancellations of flights can happen; and on a moment’s notice, for that matter. Despite the generally stellar record of the typical operational performance of airlines, things can — and do — go wrong; and if not, weather can always be an unexpected component of forcing the alteration of a schedule.

Of course, there are understandably times with which tight schedules are unavoidable. To her credit, txskygal does state that she was originally booked to travel to Tucson on the day previous to the day of the commencement ceremony: “However, I have extremely severe allergies, giving me a severe cold, which caused me to have to cancel the flight the day before, which I therefore booked for the following day, the day of graduation”…

…but that unfortunately does not lessen the chances of an itinerary unexpectedly spiraling out of control as a result of irregular operations.


Congratulations to your nephew on his graduation from college and his upcoming wedding, txskygal. You mentioned that you plan on attending his wedding later this year. I hope that you are able to arrive in time to attend…

…and no customer deserves to be mistreated by employees of an airline under most circumstances — but that is not the point of this article.

For the record, I am neither blaming nor absolving txskygal for missing the graduation of her nephew from college. Rather, this is being used as an example to stress the importance of ensuring you do whatever you can to leave yourself enough time to arrive at your destination — even if that means arriving one or even two days prior. You should strive to do this for any important event or for transportation — such as the departure of a cruise — for if you miss it, there is little about which you can do to salvage that situation.

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

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