Trust us, no one likes flight delays. Passengers hate them. Airlines too hate delays. For passengers, it would cost them their time in vacation, or a chance to miss their connecting flight, or simply their chance for their trip to go according to plans. For the airlines, delay means money or more losses on their end. Sometimes though, delays are unavoidable, and believe us or not, sometimes the reason is valid.
This is not about the causes of delays since we have previously discussed this already in a separate article which you can find here. This is simply about being nicer to our airport personnel, ground crew, and flight crew in times when we experience such delays.
It is indeed normal to complain as passengers or as customers, and we understand that, but sometimes, we have to keep them at check and also understand a few things before we scream our hearts out or curse them over social media.
Understand what caused the delay.
Many times, uncontrollable factors are what causes delays such as weather, civil unrest, an aircraft technical problems. When it comes to weather, let us remember than an aircraft is at the mercy of the wind and present weather conditions. It is not weather proof. During bad or unfavorable weather conditions, flying may be too dangerous that delaying the flight until the weather becomes more safe for airplanes to fly. The airline will not risk the safety of the passengers and the crew on board.
Another probable cause may be due to technical problems. The aircraft is still a man made object, hence, they are not perfect. They may still experience problems and it is the job of the aircraft mechanics and maintenance people to ensure they are fixed before it flies. Sometimes, a problem may arise before an aircraft may fly. This sometimes happens during pre-flight checks when mechanics and maintenance check every part of the aircraft. The mechanics will repair and troubleshoot the problem. It cannot be hurried as doing so may even be more dangerous as proven by incidents in the past. In fact, a small tape has caused a whole aircraft to crash. A lose washer has caused an aircraft to go up in flames. Hence, everything has to be thoroughly checked and if the mechanics feel the aircraft is still unsafe to fly, they will delay its release until everything are in flying condition and all problems have been cleared. Again, this is all for our safety.
Airport congestion and are traffic are other causes too. Check our article on the causes of flight delays for you to understand them more.
The ground crew are bound by the airlines's instructions and directives.
We will be straightforward here. No matter how much you scream at your ground crew, they are not in control of releasing your flight or making your aircraft leave on time. They are just under the instructions of the airline, dispatch, air traffic control and more. Though we do understand that it is their job to handle passengers expectations, as passengers, we can also be a little bit more understanding too.
Flight delays can cause your ground crew and airport personnel to work longer hours. Many are as tired too, some too have their families to attend to, they have their own personal life. Yes they are paid by the airline to do that, but they are also human beings, and not robots. Despite people screaming at them uncontrollable, they do their best to hold their calm but deep in them, they are hurt, tired, and battered. As passengers, you have the right to complain, but as human beings, we too have the right to understand and be nice to fellow human beings despite the situation. We all can work together properly.
Your flight crew are as tired as well, yet, they are working hard to their ability to ensure you get to your destination safe and in one piece.
Flying is indeed tiring. Our pilots and cabin crew also do not like delays as they work extended hours which may affect their rest time for the next flight. Despite the delays, your pilots will perform at their best so that the decisions they make, and their capability to fly the aircraft safely are unhampered. Your cabin crew will greet you with a smile despite them having worked longer hours. They will serve you and attend to your needs with a smile. Moreso, they are ready to put their own lives at risk to evacuate all in less than 90 seconds should the unthinkable happen. So despite the delay, don't forget to greet and thank your flight crew for flying you to your destination safely.
This is not about always exercising our rights as customers and as paying passengers. This is about exercising our right to be human to others, to be more understanding during delays or other situations that may arise. Yes we the right to complain as passengers or paying customers, but a little understanding and kindness will go a long long way.
We can always choose to exercise our rights as passengers, and we can always choose to be kind at the same time.
At the end of the day, the airlines's primary duty is to ensure your safety, and that is paramount.