How is a flight considered late? Recently on an HP flight PHX / BDL we pushed back 3 min early and sat in line for take off for 45 min departing 40 min late. The reason was that Delta had a 727 return to PHX because of a faulty cargo fire warning. This took one runway out of service and made for a mess. Does this count as a late flight as we arrived BDL 30 MIN late. If it does it is not fair and shouldnt count as a lite flight.