Innovation That Matters

Predicting flight delays

Work & Lifestyle

Consumers travelling by plane are increasingly faced with flight delays and cancellations, which is why a new start-up aims to help them spot potential delays. Much the way Farecast predicts whether ticket prices are tending up or down, Delaycast can now tell travellers the chance of encountering delays on a particular trip. Delaycast was established to provide information about possible difficulties in flight itineraries and to give travellers realistic expectations about their travel plans. Unlike the historical flight performance statistics found on many travel sites, Delaycast uses predictive modelling technologies that model historical patterns in flight delays and project them into the future. Its Delay Profiles tool provides broad overviews of the best days, times and airlines to choose for a trip, based on selected airports, while its Delay Predictions tool provides information about delays and cancellations for specific airports, airlines, dates and times. The site does pretty well, too, with accuracy within 15 minutes of actual performance between 80 and 90 percent of the time, it says. The ad-supported site features direct links to travel planning tools like Travelocity and Priceline, and is free to use for consumers. Delaycast launched into beta early this year, and currently includes just the top 60 US airports and 11 key airlines. It also makes predictions for trips only about four or five months into the future. Looking forward, however, it hopes to expand its coverage of airports and airlines, as well as adding predictions for security checkpoint wait times and updating predictions within 24 hours of a flight based on real-time conditions. Delaycast currently covers only the United States; who will bring this to the rest of the travel-weary world? Spotted by: Bjarke Svendsen



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