Clean Getaway - Netted
Article • January 15, 2010

Clean Getaway

Avoid Flight Delays With A Wonky Prediction Tool

It goes without saying that among the many annoyances of domestic air travel are the inevitable flight delays. (Spoiler alert: Airlines sometimes lie about departure times).

But now there’s a solution: A bunch of data-crunching nerds have created a new service called FlightCaster that predicts flight delays using an advanced algorithm.

Basically, the system scours historic data (domestic flight info from the past 10 years) and real-time conditions (weather conditions, FAA alerts, and a specific flight’s in-bound status) to predict how likely a flight is to be delayed within six hours of scheduled departure.

To use it, simply plug in your flight number and the airline. (The service is free online but apps for the iPhone and BlackBerry are available for $7.99)

It returns a simple, well-designed page that tells you the percentage chance the flight will be on time and also the chances it will be an hour late or more than an hour late.

If the “On-Time” figure is greater than 75%, your flight has a lower probability than average for being delayed.

In the event of a potential delay, they also provide alternative options and help connect you to the right person to make a flight change.

Assuming you’ve used FlightCaster, you’ll at least be making these calls from the comfort of your own home.