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Are Packages more Important than Passengers?

October 18, 2007 | Posted in: Airline News,Ask Rick

If you want to learn about the real reasons for a flight delay, it can be helpful to check with the airlines Cargo flight information. Keep reading to learn what cargo sites can do for commercial travelers.

Blogger Gary Leff says when he runs into a delay or cancellation he checks the airlines Cargo sites because they will give you the real reason why — useful when the airline doesn’t want to give you compensation, claiming that a delay is due to ‘weather’.


If you see such a discrepancy, take a screen shot of the cargo information and show it to the airlines if they don’t want to give you compensation you believe youre due.

However, blogger Mark Ashley notes that not all airlines and their cargo flight information posts agree with each other about reasons for delays, so keep that in mind.

It appears to me that one could make the argument that justifying delays in overnight packages is more important to the airlines than providing that same courtesy to passengers, I’ll bet you might have some comments on this, so fire away.

6 Responses to “Are Packages more Important than Passengers?”

  1. Nick says:

    I actually had an experience with this on US Airways. I was called several hours prior to my flight and told due to a mechanical issue with the plane in New York, I would miss my connecting flight in Charlotte. They rebooked me on the next connection available. I arrived at the airport to find out that the flight was cancelled due to weather, but there were no weather issues in either city I was flying to. I was told I could take the next available flight to Charlotte, but there was no guarantee I would make the connecting flight. TO make matters worse, US Airways would not put me up in a hotel in Charlotte since the delay was “weather related.” I abandoned all attempts for that night and flew the next day. When I got back, I called the Customer Relations Dept. at US Airways (took some digging to find the number, but it’s in my address book now!) and found out the employees at the airport had in fact lied to me and the flight was cancelled due to the mechanical error. They promptly sent me a $100 voucher for my trouble (still think I should have gotten more…).

  2. Rick Seaney says:

    Cargo site links include:


  3. Krishna Kumar says:

    I am surprised you haven’t mentioned it yet. But Flightstats.com provides pretty detailed information about a flight’s status. they do a good job of aggregating Airport, FAA, Airline, Weather feeds into one site.

    Someone already beat me to it – http://www.unitedcargo.com is invaluable when it comes to dealing with United-related delays.

  4. wen says:

    i’m speculating: the general population doesn’t travel often and they’re not in front of a computer at the airport. the person sending a packages is and they can send it through a lot of options like DHL, FedEX, UPS, even the airline itself AND the time is very flexible (if it doesn’t go on this flight, just put it on another flight). if you can show that person you can deliver (and if not, a reasonable explaination), they would probably choose you again – giving them a constant renewable source that doesn’t take up too much space.

  5. a mcmurray says:

    All the bargains, great travel deals, How does one fly from North Carolina to Halifax Nova Scotia for a deal?

  6. Claudette says:

    Delayed packages are dealt with at a more civilized level because they are unable to negotiate for an appropriate settlement. Package owners are overwhelmed when their package does arrive (vs not arrive at all).

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