What causes flight delays?

Last updated on April 24, 2023

Flight delays may be caused by a myriad of factors, including air traffic congestion, weather, mechanical malfunctions, lack of pilots or airport staff, or paperwork issues. During periods of inclement weather, visibility may become too low, or the craft may be overcome by strong winds and turbulence, forcing air traffic controllers to impose a delay. Pilot fatigue and mechanical repairs to the aircraft engine can also cause delays. National airspace may also become congested with too many planes in the vicinity. Problems at boarding gates, through customs, or check-in desks can also cause delays as passengers wait to board their flights.

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