‘Ghost’ flight delays at Pittsburgh
Formerly known with the prefix Greater, Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is a combined civil and military airport sited approximately 20 miles west of downtown Pittsburgh. The airport handles about 160 commercial flights daily to 36 destinations and is used by twelve different airlines. It also serves a military function, delivering aerial refueling and tactical airlift support for the U.S. Air Force. Covering more than 52 square kilometers, Pittsburgh is the fourth largest airport in the country. Transatlantic flights recommenced from the airport in 2009 and planes now travel to Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean. Completed in 1985, the airport control tower is the tallest owned by the FAA and reaches up 227 feet. In the original lobby area of the airport a large yellow and green compass was set into the floor area. When the new building was commissioned a replica of the original compass was installed, along with a mobile by Alexander Calder, which was relocated to the new structure. A Military Comfort Centre was opened at Gate A4 in November 2008, designed to service military personnel and their families passing through. LSG Skychefs chose Pittsburgh as the base for production for its operation in the whole of the Western Hemisphere, which produces almost twenty five million meals annually.
Rare chance of flight delays
Pittsburgh regularly features highly in customer satisfaction surveys, having been shortlisted four years in a row by OAG Worldwide as being amongst the world’s best. It was also recognized by Conde Nast Traveller’s Magazine as a top performer. This may be helped by the limited number of flights that the airport has to contend with.
Departure delay statistics and popular destinations
Out of the top ten, only the most frequent airline using Pittsburgh Airport dips below the 100% rate for on-time departures, and Republic Airlines still maintains a 93% record. The next four airlines by number of flights are Southwest Airlines, US Airways, Delta Air lines and Endeavour Air, according to statistics by FligthStats. So if your flight is delayed long enough to warrant a claim for compensation, you are a very rare passenger indeed. The most popular international routes from Pittsburgh Airport are to Toronto-Pearson (YYZ), flown by Air Canada, Paris-Charles de gaulle (CDG) in France travelled by Delta, Punta Cana (PUJ) in the Dominican Republic, a Frontier route, Nassau (NAS) in the Bahamas, also by Delta and Cancun (CUN) in Mexico, again, flown by Frontier.
Passengers delayed on ‘ghost’ flight
Despite the enviable record of Pittsburgh Airport for delays and cancelled flights, it is not infallible. A recent incident left passengers stranded in their plane for over an hour, when it landed there, with no ground crew to meet it. Somehow the Delta flight had been marked as cancelled, after it had taken off from New York. As a result, the Pittsburgh staff decided to call it an early day, and had left the destination airport before the plane landed, leaving no-one to connect the jetway so that passengers could disembark. The embarrassing situation was resolved when non-Delta staff were given clearance to take over the procedure to enable the passengers to leave. This came on top of a four hour wait for passengers on the tarmac at New York, which had lead to the cancellation mix-up in the first place. The passengers’ compensation claims for delays had probably been drafted before the plane even touched down.