Not so good if you were in any of the large parts of America that were badly affected by winter storms – or if you had to fly to or from those wet, windy and snowy locales.
At FlightView we aggregate and consolidate – and save and report – real-time flight information from hundreds of sources around the world. So we are among the first to know whether flights will run early, late – or at all. And we compile all that data to enable airports and airlines to look back, see what happened, find out why, and operate more smoothly the next time weather events mess up the works.
Answering the phones at FlightView can be a very interesting experience. Many travelers, shippers, expeditors, meeters and greeters, friends and worried family members see the real-time flight information on our website - or on one of the hundreds of websites that we power - and assume that since we have a lot of information about the day of travel, we must have all of the information on the day of travel, including answers to their unique personal situation. In fact, it's so hard for these folks to find a phone number for their actual travel service provider that they dial us. When it comes to questions from inbound calls, some staff favorites include a guy who asked if customs would charge him more if he brought his new inheritance back from Europe as gold or cash, as well as a woman who wondered whether her husband had brought a mistress on his flight (we suggested he call the office of border control and that she call a marriage counselor).
Surprise surprise; The weather man was wrong! According to reports the night before, we were supposed to get nothing but rain and my flight to San Antonio would leave without any issues. The flight from BOS to DFW was set to leave at 11am and we’d have plenty of time to make our connection into SAT. When I woke up on the day of the flight, I found out that we had about eight inches of the fluffy type of “rain” and realized we probably wouldn’t be going anywhere. Having been through the weather-related flight cancellation experience a few years ago, I was dreading a day spent on hold listening to oldies, soft rock, or worst of all a continuous loop of the same new age tones. Just as I was bracing myself to make the dreaded call, my phone rang.
On the other end of the line was a very nice, very helpful, and very proactive computerized voice. I was informed that my flight was cancelled (This I already knew – I do work for company that brings you the FlightView Flight Tracker), I was informed that I had been rebooked on another flight for later that day and my connection had been rebooked as well.