22 Feb 2019

4 Unexpected Reasons For Flight Delays

flight delays



One hour into its journey to Bangkok, a Scoot flight had to turn back - all because of an unclaimed bag on the plane. This is just the latest in a slew of flight delays with the local budget carrier, including technical difficulties that left passengers stranded in Athens for almost three days.


Flight delays are more common than people realize. If you have yet to experience one, it’s easy to assume it won’t happen to you. But surprisingly little and trivial things can hold up entire planes! Here are just four of them:



1. Coins

We can’t help but see the irony here. In Shanghai, a 76-year old woman threw coins at the engine of a plane she was boarding… to wish for a safe flight.

Needless to say, the plane never took off and was grounded overnight as a safety precaution. Passengers had to be flown to their destination the next morning. Funnily enough, this isn’t the first such case. A China Southern Airlines flight was delayed for almost six hours for the very same reason!

2. A Mouse

Furry friends? Not so much, when it comes to flying. Qatar Airways had to compensate all passengers on a flight that got delayed after a mouse was discovered in the center aisle.

Passengers had to wait for more than six hours while airline staff fumigated the cabin. To make matters worse, many of them missed their connecting flights to Singapore, Thailand and Bali.

As it is, flight delays are messy enough to deal with. Throw connecting flights into the mix and you get chaos.

Pro tip: if you are taking multiple flights, take note of whether they are on the same air ticket or on separate ones. If they are the latter, don’t make the common mistake of assuming they are connecting flights! You only have a connection if they are on the same ticket — only then, would your flight delay be viable for a claim.

3. The Internet

Talk about first world problems. Several airlines experienced flight delays when Nashville International Airport had a partial internet outage due to construction work for airport upgrades.

This affected airport operations — flights had to be boarded manually, row by row, and with passenger names and seat numbers written on paper!

4. Durian

Yes, the beloved fruit of many a Singaporean — and the cause of a delayed Sriwijaya Air flight.

Two tonnes of the spiky green fruit were kept in the cargo hold of the Jakarta-bound plane. Unfortunately, several passengers found the smell to be overwhelming and demanded for it to be removed.

Things got so heated that passengers came to blows with airline staff. The airline eventually relented and removed the durians, resulting in a delay of about an hour.

Flight delays are impossible to predict — as we clearly see, even the most unexpected of objects can cause entire planes to be grounded. Stay prepared by planning for the worst case scenario and leaving ample buffer time if you are taking connecting flights.

Another way to stay prepared for the unexpected? TravelEasy. With it, you get a payout for every six hours of a flight delay or diversion!

P.S.: If you’re fascinated by how the littlest of things can cause big problems, check us out on Instagram. It’s chock full of deceptively #RealSmallProblems with big time consequences: