Everything you ever wanted to know about weather delays

Doesn’t it seem like whenever a drop of rain falls on the New York City tarmac that all flight delays skyrocket? Well, it’s not your imagination. We now have numbers to prove it!

WeatherBill just came out with their seasonal report on air traffic congestion related to weather, tallying up all of the airlines from a DOT list and comparing them against airports, weather and subsequent delays. They found some pretty interesting data, noting that weather delays are worst handled in New York City and best handled in San Jose and Phoenix. Interestingly, they also found that Jetblue and Continental, two airlines with hubs in the City seem to handle weather delays best among carriers, perhaps because they’re so experienced with inclement weather.

All of these data are pretty interesting, but do we really need a third party to tell us that delays go up as a function of bad weather? Most people would think that this was kind of obvious.

But Weatherbill isn’t marketing the obvious numbers to buyers. Their niche is in the formulas predicting how delayed flights will be as a function of the weather. If airlines know this well, they can manage loads better and create fewer delays — saving them money and the passenger time. Everyone wins, right?
Got some time to read 58 pages of charts and data? Check out the full report here, or check out the lazyman’s version here.