HOUSTON – Flight delays and/or cancellations are two things Houstonians do not want to deal with during holiday travel, or any travel at all.
However, one tool may save you all the trouble and anticipate a delay before it is announced.
Did you know you can “foresee” a flight delay by checking the status of an incoming flight at another airport? That way you’ll know you may encounter a delay or cancellation and you’ll always have a Plan B ready when you’re at the airport.
(NOTE: changes happen ALL the time at the airport, so be sure to check with your airline directly for your flight status. Learn more here.)
Let’s save you some panic. Follow these instructions:
1. Open FlightAware.com on your web or mobile browser (or install the FlightAware app on your phone)
FlightAware is a nifty tool that tracks most planes all over the world, including incoming and outgoing flights through Houston-area airports.
2. Find your flight
The search tool is also easy to use. Type in your airline and the flight number.
Don’t know the flight number? You can search by airline/departure city or by airport name (Airport codes are IAH for Bush Airport, HOU for Hobby)
You can also click here to search by route. (For this article, we will use Houston-Bush to Newark, NJ on United Airlines.)
3. Is my flight delayed?
You’ll notice there will be delays by the following:
- Either the arriving or departing airport (or both) will have a warning sign next to them
- ”En route/Delayed” or “Scheduled/Delayed” posted on the flight tracker (either yellow or orange) or “Cancelled” (in red).
4. “Dude, where’s my flight?”
See the button that says “Where is my plane now?” or “Track incoming plane”? This will take you to the flight either scheduled to depart or in progress before YOUR scheduled flight. These flights usually use the same aircraft that will be used for your upcoming flight.
You see that United flight 1794 from Houston-Bush to Newark is expected to depart in about 8 hours, but has a delay of an hour and 25 minutes.
Clicking that “Where is my plane now?” button takes you to an inbound flight from Newark to Houston-Bush. This flight also has a delay of 2 hours.
This was the final prior flight. United flight 1651 from San Francisco to Newark came on time AND early. So the flight from Newark to Houston may have been pushed due to numerous factors (mechanical issues, weather, staffing issues, etc).
Doing this can give you *some* peace of mind when you’re traveling. This includes when weather may become a factor or mechanical issues that may arise which may lead to aircraft or crew changes in your flight.
If this article saved you a headache, great! Safe travels wherever you go and have a wonderful time.