You’re preparing to board a flight to your dream European cruise when suddenly the word “DELAYED” appears on the flight flap board.

Travel delays are frustrating, especially when you need to embark on a cruise, but what’s most annoying is that you don’t know who or what to blame for keeping you waiting.

Well now you do!

Travel technology company, Abacus Asia Pacific has conducted research on the cause of all travel delays in 2013 and here is what they found:

Mother Nature

Unsurprisingly Mother Nature’s fury was the single largest source of inconvenience, with 28 percent of all travel disruption stemming from either severe weather conditions or other naturally occurring events.

Oceania and Southeast Asia experienced 275 nature alerts, while globally Americans suffered most frequently with almost 500 alerts.

Security Alert 

Man is his own worst enemy when it comes to travel, with 26 percent of delays last year caused by security alerts. A total of 1,451 alerts we broadcasted and 25 percent of them were considered “severe” and led to defensive measures that interfered with travellers’ plans.

The Middle East took top position with 437 security alerts with Iraq at 209 and Syria 115.

Pakistan’s Karachi had 25 security alerts.

Political Unrest

Political unrest in a destination doesn’t just affect the locals, as many travellers would have discovered.

14 percent of last year’s delays were caused by unrest with  136 riots and  64 curfews.

Looting was also responsible for 40 alerts.

Baghdad and Damascus took the two top positions for political alerts  followed closely by Cairo because of its recent unrest.

Meanwhile, Bangkok had 22 political alerts.

Traffic Delays

No, traffic doesn’t just keep you waiting on your way to work. Traffic delays were the root cause of 27 percent of travel disruptions last year.


And of course there are those health scares.

Health issues kept three percent of travel plans from going ahead on time. India experienced the most health related delays followed by Thailand and Pakistan.