As reported in this Techcrunch article FlightCaster received further funding today.
It’s an interesting startup company. They predict airline delays using 10 years of historical data combined with real time information. They claim the airlines could do a better job, but don’t because it’s in there interests to get everyone to the gate just in case the delay doesn’t happen, because announcing a delay in advance would always be self-fulfilling.
The company also brings to mind FareCast (now part of Bing Travel), the company Microsoft acquired that predicts changes in flight prices for consumers.
Why does this matter? Well it’s an illustration of the principle that we can always make better predictions, 4 hours before take-off FlightCaster claims to make 10x delay predictions the airlines do, with no change in the level of accuracy, the data is there, but we’re just not using it effectively. FlightCaster is just one example of this phenomenon.