First Free Story (1 of 3)

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The business traveler shows up at Raleigh Durham Airport for a flight to San Francisco, connecting in Atlanta, but Atlanta gets hit by a rare snow storm, so the initial flight is cancelled, and the road warrior ends up missing a crucial board meeting in San Francisco.

This kind of thing happens all the time, with more than 20% of U.S. flights being subjected to delays, and about half of these are caused by Mother Nature, says Geoff Murray, the founder of an Illinois-based startup, KnowDelay, which has ideas of doing something about it.

The KnowDelay website enables airline passengers — or a travel agency, corporation or airline on their behalf — to enter their flight details, and KnowDelay pledges to forecast the weather three days in advance, allowing passengers to get rerouted around the weather problems, Murray says.

With its service currently covering 35 U.S. airports, and with promises of 90% reliability for its analytics, KnowDelay scores passengers’ existing itineraries for the possibility of weather problems, and povides up to 16 alternative routings, Murray says.

Super-premium travelers

Murray, speaking at PhoCusWright’s Travel Innovation Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona, November 13, explained that the KnowDelay service would primarily be used by businesses, and probably would only be appropriate for roughly 8% of passengers, whom he dubbed “super-premium travelers.”

These are the business travelers, he explained, who have the wherewithal to alter their flights despite being subjected to various change fees.

Self-funded KnowDelay’s intellectual property is protected and trademarked, Murray said, adding that a┬ámobile app is on the way.

Some travel management companies already are engaged in similar services to reaccommodate their travelers, but KnowDelay is counting on its offering being more reliable and comprehensive, and attractive to businesses that currently don’t have the acumen to maneuver their employees around Mother Nature’s wrath days in advance.