Who among us hasn't been made a liar by bad flight delay information?
The best laid plans (not to mention credibility with the kids) become unraveled quickly when a 30 minute delay becomes 3 hours. The simple questions kids ask make a mockery of the system. "If the plane is there, why can't you leave?" "Why is the rain slowing your down? It's not raining here." Or the best of all: "If it's going to be so late, why don't you drive? It will be faster." Indeed.
Of course some delays are easy to understand and even reasonable. Dare I say, so easy and reasonable, a child could understand. However, some defy all logic. My favorite example is a delay getting home because the first flight out needed the tire on the front landing gear changed. If this was the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th flight of the day, I'd understand. But the first? Why couldn't it be fixed after that last flight of the day prior?!?
A post in today's New York Times sheds some light on the reasons behind the mess. What you learn won't get you home any sooner, but it may help preserve some credibility.