I often have the unfortunate task of calling people when their flight is cancelled. The thing about aircraft schedules being complicated is very true. I often have to call about 4 different flights resulting from one aircraft out of service.
Weather is often used as a reason for cancelling flights because weather is often the primary reason why a particular flight was cancelled. So what if the weather is great in Atlanta and great in Indianapolis, the weather is really crappy in Washington DC where the aircraft and flight attendants are. Sometimes the weather is extremely crappy over Louisville, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and flying over the storm would be asking for a lawsuit when turbulence sends 5 passengers and two flight attendants rapidly flying toward to the ceiling and then rapidly crashing back to the floor, or onto other passengers. Flying around the storm makes you overfly DEN
on the way (i.e. not feasible due to range restrictions)
And the passengers really don't want to believe this. I once called someone from Cincinnati, where I am based, about a flight cancelled out of CVG
, and someone had the nerve to tell me that the weather was great in Cincinnati. I'm sorry, don't you hear the thunder. Let me open the window for you.
This is yet another reason why I love the Gate Information Display Screens that Delta has. They can just pull up the radar weather and point, see that line of pink, that means freezing rain. Freezing rain accumulates on aircraft wings and causes their shape to alter. An altered aircraft wing does not provide adequate lift. The aircraft becomes a rock. YAAA!
Think what you want, they don't cancel because of light loads