Reasons for flight delays

Delay due to delay

Flight delays are most likely to occur due to other delays. Think of it as a chain reaction. If a plane lands late at the destination airport, it is fairly certain that it will depart from there too late, possibly even with an even greater delay as the slot provided for launching is no longer available. Such a delay confuses the entire process and also affects other flights at this airport.

Technical and organizational problems

Often it is also a technical defect or an organizational difficulty that needs to be resolved shortly before take-off, which causes departure time shifts. This may be a broken loudspeaker system, a missing cleaning crew or defective hydraulics.

Airport operations / security checks

What happens from time to time is that the counters at the airport security checkpoint are understaffed. Bottlenecks during peak hours often lead to delays.


One reason, that many believe to be the most common cause for a delay, is the weather. However it has to be an extreme weather situation that a plane takes off too late. This can be a storm with hail, with rain and hurricane-like winds, black ice, or winter storms with heavy snowfall.

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