United is trialing a new system to give more information about why their flights are delayed. The first routes to beta test this will be flights into/out of Phoenix and Houston.They tried this at Newark last year with weather delays.
"That day, (Scott) Kirby said, United delayed many Newark flights due to weather, even though the weather in the Northeast and the Midwest was 'perfectly clear.' The problem was a line of thunderstorms in Virginia and the Carolinas. Planes coming from Florida needed to fly around the storms, and they landed late at Newark.
Usually, Kirby said, 'we would just say weather delay, and people look out and say it’s perfectly clear here, it’s perfectly clear in Chicago, you’re lying.'
Instead, Kirby said United sent customers a picture of the thunderstorms, with a note saying, '…your plane is coming from Fort Lauderdale and it has to divert around this so it is going to be late getting here.'
It generally worked, Kirby said."