There’s a good reason The Misery Map tracks delayed or canceled flights. Is there really anything more torturous than dealing with uncertainty in air travel?
Safir Monroe, a mechanical engineering graduate from Howard University, got interested in the aviation industry while working as a developer at Delta Air Lines and through various hackathons at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.
It was also where he recognized the pain points associated with tracking flight delays, which led him to found the startup UnDelay.
Based out of Atlanta, UnDelay looks to aggregate data to improve airport operations. The startup’s mobile and web applications give real-time insights into the cause of flight disruptions by analyzing transcriptions from pilots, ground operators, and air traffic controllers in one place.
That is valuable, but often unorganized, communication data. UnDelay is building out APIs, dashboards, and text alert systems to “help airlines and airports understand what is going on in real-time,” Monroe told Hypepotamus.
It is a big problem for travelers and airlines alike. Thousands of flights are canceled each day in the United States.
Yes, the weather is a common reason for delays. But 50% of issues are associated with operational, maintenance, or inspection issues.
The problem is complex, so the team is focusing at the moment on rolling out programs at smaller airports around the country. The goal, Monroe said, is to someday be used at the Atlanta airport.
The airport-focused startup took a hit at the height of COVID as its aviation customers dealt with budget cuts and streamlined operations.
“But it gave us time to hone in and focus on building our product,” Monroe said. “Once the industry picked back up, all these flights kept getting canceled. In the post-COVID era, there is more of a need to integrate and optimize these [airport] systems.”
As the UnDelay team works through the early-stage growth phase, they have leveraged several accelerator programs across the country. Hypepotamus connected with Monroe while he was in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Next stop: Birmingham, Alabama. UnDelay will be part of the next Bronze Valley Accelerator program.
The team is four people strong right now, including CTO Noah Giles, Managing Director Ravin Mehra, robotics consultant Ishmael Rogers, and Principal Officer Daniel Okegbu. The team is spread out mainly between Houston and Atlanta.