WHY are planes DELAYED??? What are SLOTS? Explained by “Captain” Joe

WHY are planes DELAYED??? What are SLOTS? Explained by “Captain” Joe


We are going to be on that flight! I WARN YOU WE ARE GOING TO BE ON THE FLIGHT! Because we were told by your own people that we were OK So, you take responsibility and you get us on that flight!
– Unfortuna… THAT IS NO “UNFORTUNATE”! YOU ARE UNFORTUNATE! That’s an angry passanger right there! We’ve all been there, and I admit,
it’s a nuisance – airplane delays. Today we’re gonna be looking at five
reasons why airplanes are delayed, and especially why these so-called
“slots” cause these ridiculous delays. Also, why do pilots let their passangers
sit and wait onboard on the plane and don’t take off, and what’s that got to
do with highway traffic? So, let’s NOT delay this
video, and let’s get started! [Music]
[ATC]
[Jet engine] I assume many of you have been there
– you’re waiting at the gate, and the lady at the desk makes
an announcement saying that your flight is being delayed
due to technical reasons. So possible reason number 5 is “technical problems”. Now, I know that many passangers
think that the pilots come up with some technical malfunction, although
the delay is caused by other nature. If a pilot states it’s a technical issue,
trust me, there is a technical issue. Often the problem is minor, but could
eventually have an impact on the flight. I’m talking as small as a little light
bulb that’s broken in the cockpit, and the plane is going nowhere. I personally had to switch to another
plane after encountering a bird strike on the previous flight and the engine had
to go through a thorough investigation. Now picture 180 passangers boarding
and deboarding in 30 minutes – happy faces [laughes] But by the way, I’ll take any
delay due to a technical failure, or would you set off in
your car with a loose tire? Reason number 4: crew member
arriving late to the plane. It’s a rare case, but sometimes
the crew and passangers have to wait for a missing crew member. Now, don’t get the image that
the late crew member just had a lay-in and arrives late to work. Most likely, the colleague
was called out of stand-by as one of the other crew members
called in sick just prior check-in. And most stand-by duties demand that
you have one hour to get ready, drive to the airport, go through security,
and get taken to the NOW delayed plane. So sarcastingly applauding the crew
member onto the plane isn’t cool at all, as he or she most likely risked their life
driving like a maniac over the highway to be there on time just for YOU. So don’t do that. Reason number 3: the late
or vanished passanger. One of the airport’s TOTAL misteries – a checked in passanger who’s
unable to find his boarding gate, his luggage obviously
made it onto the plane, but he has vanished somewhere inbetween. He even gets the luxury of hearing his name being called out over
the terminal PA system. Now, as the passanger,
or at least his luggage, now creates a potential security threat
to all other passangers onboard, the loading crew has to unload all pieces
of baggage to find his or her suitcase. That will cost time, obviously, and just
as the luggage is found, he shows up. Well, we often set off
then without his luggage, just to teach him a lesson [laughs]. Reason number 2: going on strike! If you live in Europe, you’ve
all been impacted by a country, which has air traffic controllers who just
LOVE to go on strike at least once a year and disrupt the entire European airspace. Now, not to mention any names, but
they’re taking their country’s motto a little TOO serious. And their southerly neighbours
aren’t any much better, so, sorry guys, but you make WAY
too much money to go on strike! Now, even worse, if your
airline goes on strike, leaving you stuck at your departure
airport for days [!] if you’re unlucky. Now, during the research for this
video, I wasn’t surprised that famous German airline is the
record holder in strike days. Well, I’m a pilot, and my colleagues had
good reason enough to go on strike, so good for them. Especially the airline with the lady
playing the harp on their tailfin, they have every reason to go on
strike, believe me, well done, boys. Also, very effective in causing delays
are airport ground staff strikes. Airports always promote
themselves as “safe havens”, but the first thing they’ll cut is
the salary of the security staff. Would you like to get shouted at passangers
because you have to search their luggage, but you’re only being
payed at minimum wage? I HIGHLY doubt that. So please, do me a favour and approach
these people with the necessary respect instead of complaining
their job is useless. And the number 1
reason for delays are slots. Now, I’m sure you might
have heard a pilot say “Ladies and gentelmen, I
am very sorry to tell you, but we’ve just received a slot
time which starts in two hours, but we’re hoping to get
released a little earlier, as we’ve just sent a “ready” message.” So what does all that mean? Picture a four-lane highway narrowed
down to one lane due to roadworks. Now, okay, everyone pictures this,
sad reality, unfortunately. Now, let’s say the sky is
also a four-lane highway and the airport is the roadworks
with literally one lane to land on. Now the only difference
to the highway example is that the air traffic controllers
in airports want to avoid congested traffic in the sky
prior to that one lane runway. Because no plane carries
hours and hours of fuel to wait in the sky for
their landing clearance. Now, every airliner has
to file a flight plan stating the flight level they want to
fly, aircraft type, routing, etc., but more importantly, the
flight time and speed. Now, the air traffic controllers
at Eurocontrol, for example, check how many planes approach an airport
at a certain time of day, and compare that to its maximum capacity
the airport can handle. But, it’s not just the airport.
They also have to consider how many planes fly through
or within a control sector to not overload the controller,
because overloading a controller by giving him or her too many aircraft
at once is just way too risky. Now, the controller MIGHT
split it into two sectors and share the work with another controller, but, if that is getting
out of hand as well, Eurocontrol will send
out [a] so-called CTOT – a calculated take-off time, or better known as “slot times”. Now, the purpose of a CTOT, or a slot, gives the controller a future prediction
of how many planes he can expect expect in his sector at a certain time, and
safely guide the planes onto that one lane, or ILS, without having
to put them on holding. So our highway example
would then look like this: you have all the space, but
you’ll be using up only one lane, as every car, or plane, sets off
at a predetermined take-off time, resulting in a smoother flow of traffic. Now, there are various types of slots. Most common are the “weather” slots. Now, let’s say you’re sitting
at New York JFK airport, wanting to fly to Washington D.C., and a massive thunderstorm is
sitting over the White House. Now, the controller most likely will
give you a “weather” slot, ’cause, why would he let you
take off already knowing that you’ll be holding somewhere north of
Washington before the thunderstorm clears? Same goes for aiports which have low
visibility procedures in progress – everything works at a slower pace, and
the handling capacity is much lower. Then there are “flow managment” slots. That, to my knowledge, means that air traffic controller
hasn’t got enough controllers. This happened to me numerous times on weekends
flying into western parts of Germany. Now, keep in mind: an aircraft is taking off or entering
European airspace every 3 seconds, so there is a constant need
[of] air traffic controllers. Then there are “airport” slots. If you fly to the islands
of Greece, for example, some airports only have
two 2 to 3 parking spots, so air traffic coordinates your
departure and arrival time that you don’t have to
wait at the destination airport until your parking slot clears. And as a pilot, you can anticipate
its slot time because sometimes you get a clearance to drastically
reduce your speed during cruise and then you know that your destination
airport is reaching its maximum capacity or is experiencing some discrepancies,
like runway closures due to snow removal or of similar nature. Now, the other word[s]
the pilot mentioned are “We’ve sent out a ‘ready message’.” So what does that mean? Now, first of all, you would
only hear a pilot say that once all passangers are onboard,
and then you wait and wait. But why does the pilot board all passangers if he already knows that we’re not
gonna be taking off any time soon? Well, he doesn’t really know how lond he’s
gonna be waiting for his start-up clearance because by sending out a “ready” message,
he’s letting the controller know that he and his plane are
ready to take off at ANY time before the actual slot time, meaning if
there is any improvement, maybe in weather or overall traffic, the controller would then contact the pilots and give them an earlier
departure time by saying “AirJoe 125, slot has been
cancelled, start-up approved, be airborne withing the next 15 minutes.” So, therefore, the pilots request
all passangers to be onboard, because there’s no way to board
a plane in under 15 minutes with passangers like this: So please, do yourself a
favour, and DON’T get furious with the cabin crew members or pilots – trust me when I say they want to
get airborne as much as you do, but still passangers always find some
reason to complain, one way or another. If they’re delayed, they complain,
if it’s turbulent, they complain, but the pilots and air traffic
controllers are actually preventing them a “near-death” experience with a “bad weather” slot doesn’t
strike their mind at all. And one thing I have learned of being in
this industry for over ten years now, do never, ever underestimate the weather. That’s it for today, thank
you very much for your time! To become my wingman, hit that
subscribe button right there, and the notification bell, so
you won’t miss upcoming videos, and don’t forget, a good
pilot is always learning! See you next week, all the best, your Captain Joe! [Music] [Music]
[Subtitles transcribed by Iliyan Angelov]

100 thoughts on “WHY are planes DELAYED??? What are SLOTS? Explained by “Captain” Joe”

  1. I was once delayed by 3 hours 30 mins at SXF for a Ryanair flight because, as I quote, "the crew are all missing".
    We had to wait for a crew to come in from Stansted…

  2. I once had a 7 hour delay when I was flying on Delta Airlines from Portland, OR to New York City (JFK) because there was a part that needed to be ordered from Alaska

  3. They only don't complain if there is an accident and the don't get to complain 🙂 . We need to respect you guys all as you deserve it and work with enough stress already .

  4. I once missed a flight by FIVE minutes because the plane took off early. (Keep in mind I wasn’t at all the only one) I then had to wait another 3 hours after sprinting all the way across Phoenix airport for a flight home.

  5. Bruh one time i went to a airport with my family to go to Manila,Phillipines (Any filipino/Pilipino is my spelling right?) Then AA (American Airlines) Delayed the trip, then everyone went to a different boarding thingy and it was delayed again so a lady then screamed to the staff, then i saw a staff lady telling a man to stop recording them? Then one dude told the lady to back off, then the staff said: "Leave your luggage with us" my brain just died then some people start giving them their luggage but not mine not mine i tell ya i had a nintendo with me and iphone 7+ and bluetooth headphones, maybe they will steal the stuff in your luggage or maybe worse but a bomb in them and activate them mid air

  6. I hate it when people take it out on staff. Not just at airports, anywhere really. 90% of the time they can't do anything, yet they still take a stern rude tone.

  7. Pilots go on strike: "They have good reasons"

    ATC go on strike: "You make way too much money to go on strike".

    Love by an italian ATCo.

  8. I've never experienced this. I was upgraded to business class once though, so I'm gonna keep flying with that airline (condor) 😀

  9. I once was at Munich airport and saw a place flying to Athens scheduled at 11:35 and delayed to 19:45 or something

  10. I was the reason of a delay once 🙁 It wasn’t my fault though, it was a very short layover at O’Hare (less than two hours and had to get luggage and check in again at another terminal) and there was an issue with my boarding pass so a new boarding pass had to be printed and then through security with shoes off and all, then I ran to the gate with shoes in my hand to get to the gate as fast as possible. It was embarrassing for both me and my two travel mates, but it was a situation out of our hands and we did our best to hurry… We got onto our flight to LAX, but our luggage came with the next flight from O’Hare to LAX some hours later. It really was an insanely short layover for such a huge airport though, especially considering that there was also a transfer between terminals and checking in again for the domestic flight.

    But things like this happens, and when it comes to technical issues and such, a delay is so much better than the alternative! I was on a flight from Shanghai to Copenhagen (via Amsterdam) the very same day the Malaysian airplane disappeared (thankfully knew nothing until the day after) and I sure am glad that none of the flights I’ve been on have been having issues.

  11. When you are in the international lounge, and the airline brings you alcoholic drinks, it isn't a good sign!

  12. Once on a flight the destination did a "ground stop" but we were already in the air. We circled for about 20 minutes while they cleared the runway, and we did a textbook low visibility / low braking landing. Everybody cheered, and I congratulated the pilots as I left the plane.

  13. We once had to wait for more than half an hour in the plane because the co-pilot's previous flight was delayed and we had to wait for him. And then we had to wait another 20 min before we could take off.

  14. There is no excuse.
    Its just not normal organizing or as simple in aviation language nulify the situation.
    Airlines need to have all ways reserved crew which airlines do not want to pay for it.
    Even if there is bad weather to make to the departure airport from where passengers are waiting for it must be reserved airplain just to take car the passengers who are hopping to fly in time.
    So take way your emty balloon 5 reasons.
    All about bad organizing.cheepiness.

  15. As someone who has never been on a plane and would do almost anything to, I wouldn’t complain if I had to wait 10 minutes before setting off

  16. I swear if I had a long flight from the us to Abu Dhabi And it was delayed for 2 hours then I would be sleeping in the airport and not even being mad

  17. Ironically, the one time a plane I was supposed to board was cancelled due to air controller strike, I was in Italy. I'm French.

  18. Watch Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport. It has a few seasons but all episodes for season 1 is uploaded in full. The 9 episodes show cases a lot of background work that goes into every part before a plane takes off.

  19. watching youtube vids from Russia and so on… yes there are a lot of peops driving there car with far worse issues than a lose tire 😀

  20. Yelling at security because you are running late. Never a good idea. I'm sorry sir, but you and your luggage are going to have to wait in this room right over here…

  21. Late filer, late updater, CDM airports, regulations due to weather, staffing, airport capacity, strikes, weather are a few. And for Missing passengers, late crew, missing bag etc you have a 10 min extension. Always willing to help you with your slot. Brgds Brussels

  22. I understand that there will be delays and I also understand that it’s not the fault of the airline or the crew. However what does bother me is when a flight has been delayed for almost three hours and the crew know there are passengers that are going to have to catch a connecting flight and won’t bother to announce gate numbers for those departures.

    On a flight from Frankfurt to Vienna we were delayed almost three hours. We asked the flight crew several times about information for our gate and received no help. When we finally arrived to Vienna we ended up missing our connecting flight because we wasted half hour trying to find a monitor to see where our gate was. Had we been told we could have easily went straight to the gate and made our flight and not see it being pulled back from the gate.

    In an other incident on a flight from Vienna to Paris our flight was again delayed. When we finally arrived to Paris and made it to the gate within 20 minutes of the flight we found out that our seats had been given away because we were not present at the gate. Shouldn’t these people communicate with each other and know that the passengers are not missing but delayed from their connecting flight and will arrive shortly. These are the instances that I do blame the flight crew and gate crew since they could have easily helped us avoid a missed flight.

  23. I think the best delay I ever had was last year. Flying from Detroit to Cincinnati. Landed in Cinci and were told we had to wait because another plane had parked where we were supposed to park so we had to wait for them to take off. I had been travelling for 12 hours already, I was not happy xD

  24. Worked ramp we hated nothing more than having to dig for that last minute on or off passenger's luggage but our airport was 30 minutes flight time close proximity to the connecting airport so many times the plane would be pushed out and wait to be released

  25. "Never underestimate the weather"

    NZ: sunny, 2 seconds later heavy rain, 3 minutes later heavy rain stops and its sunny again. 5 minutes later a freaking thinder storm

  26. I don't know why passengers get angry for delayed or cancelled flights. There's nothing you can do. Jump, shout, throw your bag away, die – it is not going to change. Relax, read a book, look for a power outlet to charge your phone so you can play, listen to music, eat, talk to people. Raging at the ground crew is not going to change anything.

  27. I remember i was going on a flightit was delayed for 6 HOURS cause a guy slept in came to gate and went “I wasn’t going to get up at 3am” I was so pissed I wanted to go up to him and through my bag at him

  28. So basically, some slot times happen because the pilot will have to wait anyway and it is more efficient to wait sooner and on the ground rather than later and in the air.

  29. I would love to hear a pilot announce

    "I've been advised its not safe to take off but i thought fu*k it, what the hell you only live once"

    I bet those passengers would never complain about delays again.

  30. I got delayed 9 hours then we had to wait outside for 2 hours and then we had to go back inside for 1 hour then we got on the plane and then we waited 3 hours for to much planes for runway

  31. 4:45 that's a australian refusing to comply with singapore police's orders.
    you might find the videos somewhere along those lines^

  32. i remember once i was a passenger on a 2 flight route meaning we had to land and change planes. but our first plane got delayed so we had to get rebooked and the line of angry passengers just wanting to get home or to the vacation was just so long so when me and my family got up we simply said hey we know you have to rebook these guys let us get rebooked for a flight the next day's night. it was about midnight and you could just see her smile as we didn't want a flight this minute but could wait and we had a nice day in D.C. and watched the white house and different memorials and then in the evening we had our flight. i like to think we made the info ladies job easier.

  33. I love hearing a collected and a calm pilot roasting stupid passengers for 11 mins…,. this video is golden 😂😂

  34. I suggest to avoid flying with American Airlines. They are the worse, irresponsibles, discriminatory, careless and rude. I won't fly with American even I get the ticket for free.

  35. You are really the best! You have so many skills and you are so great at explaining everything referred to aviation world. A big hug from Trentino Italy 🇮🇹

  36. 1st: Security staff make far more than minimum wage especially here in the US
    2nd: It's stupid to have some pencil dick idiot with a double digit IQ, and a triple digit income rooting around inside of my luggage for NO reason… there has not been any bombs found in any bags!
    3rd: Before some worthless pus nut sphincter face cock breath idiot spouts off that I "just don't understand"… Yes, I do because I am a commercially rated pilot with over 10,000 hours in multiple aircraft.

  37. Frenchie here : Haha nice not saying France but showing it on the map. You made my day captain ! We assume being strikers 😎

  38. Air travel is already too expensive. If you work in the industry and strike for more money, you're just greedy. There isn't money for you to have without taking it away from someone else.

  39. I was travelling with my friend last week and she complained about the flight being 'an hour late' (it was only 20 minutes, because she didn't realise the departure time is push back not take off). Then she was on her phone during take off to tell her parents we were late. I could have hit her. Earlier this year my plane from Australia was 3 hours late so I ended up spending 16 hours in Qatar because I missed my connection. These things happen and people need to chill.

  40. There is always an asshole either a cabin crew member a tsa agent sometimes it's the airline that sucks or whoever and sometimes you meet more than one

  41. I'm french Captain Joe and believe me. French strikes is a national sport. between education, railways or hospitals, airports are good students on strikes numbers.

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