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Old 09-18-2013, 01:59 PM   #1
pltastacie
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Getting nervous about flight

When I booked our flight I did it for the morning of the cruise to save on hotels and not miss work the day before. We will be flying from Columbus to Atlanta to Miami and suppose to be in Miami at 11:50 the day of the cruise. A coworker was recently flying back home from Miami and her flight from Atlanta was cancelled altogether and my mother was flying to Mexico and her flight was delayed as well. I would hate to miss the cruise because my flight did not arrive on time. It will cost me $800 to change my tickets to the day before . We have travel insurance on the flight but I do not have a good reason to cancel it altogether. We are not frequent fliers and I am wanting to know how often do flights get delayed.

Thanks
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Old 09-18-2013, 02:01 PM   #2
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Sadly, flights get delayed all the time. You're cutting it very close, as much as I hate to say it.

You "should" be ok, since the ship doesn't leave til 5 pm. Don't dally once you get off the plane though.
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Old 09-18-2013, 02:05 PM   #3
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There is really no way to know that as it pertains to your particular flight. Flights get delayed for many reasons. Weather at the takeoff point. Weather at the destination. Weather at the place your plane stops before it gets to your airport. Mechanical problems with the plane. Medical emergencies. Computer glitches. Unforeseen circumstances - after the Navy Yard shooting here in DC, they shut down Reagan National airport to outgoing traffic for awhile.

You would have to experience a substantial delay to miss your cruise, but it's still a risk you take flying in same day. You were trading off that peace of mind for the savings on the hotels and work time.
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Old 09-18-2013, 02:13 PM   #4
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I have flown only about 6 times in my life (42 years) and every time my flight has been delayed, with the last time being 8.5 hours. Oddly enough, none have been delayed due to weather, it was "mechanical issues". This is why I now drive from NJ to Florida!
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:07 PM   #5
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Before you go, see what other flights are available to Miami at about the time you will land in Atlanta, even if they are on other airlines. Airlines will honor other tickets (not SW or ATA). If you get to Atlanta and your flight is delayed, ask for help IMMEDIATELY. Be nice, appear helpless. Someone might be able to help you.

Now if you do change to a different flight, it is likely your luggage will not make it so be prepared with a carefully packed carryon. You can always do laundry on the ship.

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Old 09-18-2013, 04:14 PM   #6
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As already noted in previous posts, there are a lot of reasons that flights are delayed. Last week a number of flights into and out of east coast airports were apparently delayed around 1-1/2 hours due to severe thunderstorms.

We fly 3 - 4 times a year and I'd say we seem to experience delays for some reason or another around 50% of the time. We've had flights delayed because of weather, crowded airports with no gate to pull into, which made for almost missing our connecting flight, flights held waiting for passengers coming in on late connecting flights, mechanical issues, and once we had a bomb threat onboard which caused a 4 hour delay. We always fly in for our cruise at least a day prior.

That being said, you have a good chance of nothing going wrong with your flight and all going fine. We have also had flights where we actually landed earlier than scheduled!
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Old 09-18-2013, 02:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxin View Post
Sadly, flights get delayed all the time. You're cutting it very close, as much as I hate to say it.

You "should" be ok, since the ship doesn't leave til 5 pm. Don't dally once you get off the plane though.
Sounds like excellent advise. Some good news though, several years ago we flew to Miami for a Celebrity cruise (with connection) & we made it with no problems.
Now flights in and out of Chicago is another issue all together.
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Old 09-18-2013, 02:40 PM   #8
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Also depends on what time of year you're flying.

If it's winter, you run the risk of weather near you being an issue.

If it's summer you run the risk of weather in Miami.

Also, my flight to LAX (from Orlando) was delayed once(2 hours) because there was too much weight on the plane and they had to unload some cargo. My Mom's recent flight out to San Fran was delayed 3 hours to wait for crew to arrive.

Air travel is SO unpredictable!
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:26 PM   #9
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We fly on an almost monthly basis to Florida to visit family while we live out of state. I rarely experience moderate or severe delays, even when connecting in ATL (least efficient airport ever!).

If you are flying Delta, you can change your tickets for $50 within 12 hrs of your original flight. So if you aren't the first flight out that morning, you could be for a reduced fee and if there is still room. If you are and there is one within 12 hrs the night before, I believe the same rule applies.

When in a situation like this, I make sure I know my options for later flights on that airline, different airlines, and different airports. Having a back up plan almost always ensures you won't have to use it. In the rare case you do, you are already setting it in action! A quick bing.com/travel search should give you that info.

Good Luck.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:02 PM   #10
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Personally I wouldn't even fly in the day of the cruise on a direct flight, let alone with connections. Sadly you're asking for trouble. Hopefully all goes well.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:29 PM   #11
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We have cruised many, many times but for our first 2 cruises we flew down same day. Our flights were fine but our luggage never made it onto the plane. Apparently most of our flight had no luggage. They made up some story about the xray machine being down & having to hand check all luggage. (Back around 2005 when USAirways was having LOTS of labor/luggage issues.)

So we all trek to the luggage office to give descriptions. My kids were little & needed a bathroom & we ended up being last in line. It was announced that everyone should go ahead to their ship/hotel and luggage would be delivered there. Since I was last, I could hear the employees trying to figure out how to accomplish this. "Should we call in so n so? No, he already worked OT this week." etc. Clearly they had no plan. No way was I leaving that airport without my luggage. While they may be trying to manage hundreds of bags, I knew I'd be able to spot ours in no time.

So the next flight was due to arrive 2 hours later.
We hung around the airport, got some lunch and when the next flight arrived, the US Airways (& airport porters) were trying to intercept the bags with the old flight # before they could get out to the public. We stood next to them, told them we were on that previous flight, and that we'd be getting ours. They were fine with that.

In the end it was a big fat hassle.
The next time, everything worked out fine.

The third time, being a Feb cruise & worrying about possible snow, we flew down the day before. This time 2 of my parents' bags didn't arrive. We went to the hotel & they were given a contact ph # and was told their bags would be delivered. They called several times that day, the voice mailbox was always full. My mother barely slept that night. By morning they took a cab back to the airport & finally got their bags. Coincidentally, it did start snowing shortly after we left Philly at 10am & by 6pm the airport was closed.

So besides weather & mechanical issues, luggage delays are possible too. Even if you don't like to spend more on a hotel, I look at it as extra insurance. You can always Hotwire a room near the airport for less than $100. Lesson learned but hopefully not the hard way.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:52 PM   #12
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People are going to post when things go bad. Not the hundreds of times that everything was just fine. I fly regularly (like once a week) and way more times then not I arrive at the exact time I am supposed to arrive. Just thought I would add to the discussion!
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:02 PM   #13
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Check the flight status history. There are places like Flight Stats that will tell you how your flights average on delays. Hopefully this helps a little.


http://www.flightstats.com/go/Flight...tingByRoute.do
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princesskayla View Post
People are going to post when things go bad. Not the hundreds of times that everything was just fine. I fly regularly (like once a week) and way more times then not I arrive at the exact time I am supposed to arrive. Just thought I would add to the discussion!
Well, yes you have a point there. I did mention that our luggage woes were in 2005. No one really wants to hear about the routine flights we've taken since then.
Also certain vacations I can be very flexible, others not so much. For example, 2 weeks ago we flew to MCO for a long weekend in WDW. Our flight was scheduled for 5:25pm so we picked up the kids directly from school, then headed for the airport. We departed on time and while it was a direct flight, it wasn't non-stop. We landed ahead of schedule in Nashville to fuel & pick up more passengers. There was some delay in waiting for the fuel truck to arrive. Since the trucks aren't owned by SWA, there wasn't much they could but wait for it. The pilot came on the PA a few times to keep us aware of the delay.
So we ended up arriving in MCO at around 10:30pm instead of 9:45pm. Did I really care? No. Our only plan for the night was to take ME to AKL and go to bed. It wouldn't really have mattered if our plane didn't land until midnight.

When it comes to cruising, you can't be so flexible. You're either on the ship when it's time to sail, or it sails without you. Even if you only missed it by 15 mins, you still missed it.

I recall last winter a poster from Canada who missed their cruise due to snow back home despite having plans to fly down the am of the day before. Luckily he had insurance but was still bummed out & never even got to leave Canada. Nothing is a guarantee you'll get there, even if driving, but all you can do is minimize the risk as best you can.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:17 PM   #15
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I fly a lot and though not a fail safe, I do find that early morning flights are typically more on time than others (sounds like yours are early since you have connections and are still getting to Miami early in he day). Flights are like dominos so when something does become a prolem it ripples through the system for the rest of the day. Morning flights avoid some of that ripple plus crews are usually not coming in off another flight, the planes has been there overnight, severe weather is less of a problem....
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