The top 5 most common causes of travel disruption

It’s actually the ordinary, everyday delays that cause the most irritation for travelers.

Waiting at the airport is already one of the most irritating aspects for travelers. Delays just make it worse. There are many possible reasons for disruptions: bad weather conditions, air traffic control issues, mechanical problems with planes, etc. The famous Icelandic volcano crisis of 2010, for example, caused several days’ worth of delays. Oddly enough, it’s actually the ordinary, everyday delays that cause the most irritation for travelers, disrupting productivity and increasing stress.

Let’s take a look at the five most common causes of travel disruptions:

1 – Domino effect

Planning flight schedules is very important to airlines. The more flights a plane can make per day, the more revenue it can earn. So flight schedules are very tight and even a slight delay in one flight can immediately causes a domino effect of delays at multiple airports.

2 – Technical defect

Airplanes are complicated machines. There are no quick fixes for technical problems, especially as safety is top priority in aviation. When an aircraft doesn’t meet the requirements during a technical inspection, it stays on the ground. That’s why a technical defect is the second-biggest cause of travel delays.

3 – Weather

Strong wind, heavy snowfall or storms… Weather has the power to bring air traffic at an airport to a complete stop. With tight flight schedules, this again causes a domino effect of delays at other airports. You can, for example, suffer from snowfall in London while you’re waiting at the airport in sunny Barcelona.

4 – Strike

When ground staff, cabin crew or aviation leaders strike, major delays and even cancellations can be the result.

5 – Exceeding working hours

Naturally, airplane crews need to rest sometimes so they can be 100% alert when they’re working. There are strict rules about mandatory resting periods and maximum working hours for the crew. Sometimes a flight is delayed because these limits have been exceeded – often also due to other delays.

Booking your business trips via a travel management company makes your trips more enjoyable and productive. We can’t prevent delays, but we can absolutely reduce the discomfort and stress whenever there’s a disruption.


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