Former FAA Command Center Air Traffic Management Specialist Rally Caparas Equips Business Travelers With the Know-How on Avoiding Delays, Congested Airports, and Missed Flights
SOUTHLAKE, Texas, March 18 /PRNewswire/ — Travelers experienced a
64 percent decline in airline on-time arrival this January compared to the
same month in 2003, according to a report from the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA). The report showed that on-time performance went from
83.4 percent in January last year, to 74.9 percent this January. And while
carrier delays and late flights most affected on-time performance, weather
conditions played a much larger role in delays than one might think upon an
initial glance at the report’s numbers.
As business travelers start planning trips during the coming spring storm
season, Travelocity Business(SM) correspondent and former FAA air traffic
controller Rally Caparas offers vital tips on avoiding the time crunch with
flight delays, airport congestion and missed flight connections.
According to Caparas, “If you look at the surface data, it appears that
weather directly accounted for only 6 to 7 percent of flight delays, but
before travelers get upset with their airlines or the FAA, it’s important to
note that weather plays a role in about 80 percent of traveler delays. As we
head into the spring storm season, travelers may want to consider how they can
plan trips to avoid these potential delays.”
Caparas’ checklist for some of the best suggested ways to avoid potential
flight delays are based on timing:
-- When traveling into or out of the East or Gulf Coasts of the United States, especially between March 15th and October 15th, schedule flights to depart out of, or arrive into these regions before 1:00 p.m. local time. -- This helps avoid most of the severe thunderstorm activity, peak periods of air traffic volume and associated lengthy delays. -- When traveling out of or into the West Coast airports (from Seattle through San Diego), schedule flights to depart from or arrive into the region after 1:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. -- The marine layer fog, which is an almost daily event, causes reduced visibility at the airports and frequently results in flight delays. -- The fog usually dissipates by about 1:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time each day.
The occurrence of flight delays can be explained by how the FAA uses the
National Airspace System to monitor and control flight traffic at 40 top
airports, says Caparas. These facilities represent a fraction of all
airports, but the vast majority of commercial flights either originates at, or
goes through, these major “hubs”. Each airport has a pre-determined maximum
arrival and departure rate during ideal conditions. When the weather becomes
poor, or the runway configurations are forced to change based on wind
direction, a runway closed for maintenance, or aircraft emergencies, the FAA
must implement some sort of delay program to control the flow of air traffic,
minimizing the impact of these events on a particular airport.
In addition to knowing the pitfalls for delays, Caparas emphasizes that
business travelers with time constraints can make other smart choices to help
make their travel as efficient and easy as possible. Some of these tips
-- Schedule flights into and out of alternative local or smaller airports that are less congested with people and traffic such as Burbank in Los Angeles, Midway Airport in Chicago, or Hartford Airport instead of Boston Logan. -- If "time is money", purchase a non-stop ticket. Every time you land or depart during a trip, you significantly increase the odds of being delayed. -- If you do schedule flights other than non-stop, avoid scheduling very tight connections as a slight delay on one leg could cost more lost time and cause hassles associated with a missed connection.
Rally Caparas delivers updated flight delay information at
www.TravelocityBusiness.com . As an air traffic management specialist and
daily CNN correspondent out of Atlanta with his “Eye on The Sky” program,
Caparas is the country’s leading source for analysis and news content
regarding aviation-related incidents, airline events and travel advice. His
experience includes 13 years as an FAA air traffic controller in numerous
areas of the country, and he designed and managed the national air traffic
delay programs for the FAA and the airlines, while serving as an Air Traffic
Management Specialist at the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center
near Washington, D.C.
About Travelocity Business
Travelocity Business is a full-service corporate travel agency that helps
companies easily manage travel and reduce costs, while providing more choices
to travelers. Travelocity Business combines the savings and convenience of
online with the full service of dedicated agents available 24/7 who typically
answer the phone in 20 seconds, and within 60 seconds guaranteed. Companies
can cut travel costs through flight deals, Web fares, hotel discounts and
service fee savings — representing an average savings of more than $142 per
trip, including airfare savings averaging 26 percent per ticket and service
fee savings of up to 84 percent.
Travelocity Business merges the expertise, service and travel choices of
Travelocity(R) with the most proven online corporate travel technology,
already used by more than half of the Fortune 200. For more information,
companies can visit www.TravelocityBusiness.com .
Travelocity, a Sabre Holdings(TM) company, the pioneer in online travel,
gives consumers access to hundreds of airlines, thousands of hotels, cruise,
last-minute and vacations packages, entertainment tickets, best-in-class car
rental companies, and ground transportation all backed by 24-hour customer
service. With 41 million members, Travelocity is the sixth largest travel
agency in the United States and has been recognized for its global leadership
in online travel and powers five multi-lingual travel Web sites worldwide.
Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE: TSG) is a world leader in travel
commerce, retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology
solutions for the travel industry. More information about Sabre Holdings is
available at http://www.sabre-holdings.com .
Contact: Mary Kate Smither (firstname.lastname@example.org ) Chintan Talati (email@example.com ) 972/488-4790 VOLLMER
SOURCE Travelocity Business -0- 03/18/2004 /CONTACT: Mary Kate Smither, firstname.lastname@example.org , or Chintan Talati, email@example.com , both of VOLLMER, +1-972-488-4790, for Travelocity Business/ /Web site: http://www.TravelocityBusiness.com http://www.travelocity.com http://www.sabre-holdings.com / (TSG) CO: Travelocity Business; Travelocity; Sabre Holdings Corporation ST: Texas, District of Columbia IN: AIR LEI TRA SU: AW-CD -- DATH003 -- 2245 03/18/2004 07:00 EST http://www.prnewswire.com