Meet the Cancellator
With the rush of Thanksgiving travel and potentially bad weather, there’s a few people who will have the tougher-than-usual job this week of figuring out which unlucky flights must be cancelled this holiday season.
Meet the men and women operating the Cancellator, a computer system that decides whether or not you’ll be scrambling to make it home for Turkey Day. The Cancellator and systems like it use an algorithm with some human input to decide which flights to delay or cancel in order to preserve as much of an airline’s original schedule as possible. The program’s ultimate goal is to nix flights well ahead of time, that way airlines can notify passengers of the changes before they head out for the airport — giving customers time to make alternate plans.
Want to know more about the software and employees deciding to cancel your flight? Read TIME’s March 3, 2014 cover story on airline cancellations here.