Lamedianaranja From Venezuela, joined Nov 2004, 1246 posts, RR: 22 Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6628 times:
It depends on taxi-times too. AMS-LHR takes 1.30 hours in the timetable but actual flying time is almost never more than 50 minutes. As it's such a busy route the airline prefers to take that into account right away and not always arrive 'late'.
The difference in returns may also be caused by prevailing wind directions.
SonOfACaptain From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1747 posts, RR: 7 Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6618 times:
They want to screw with your mind.
Seriously though, there are many factors that effect the "flight time" of a flight. Commercial flying isn't as simple as flying directly to your destinations. You have to take account of traffic (both in the air and on ground), taxi time, and many, many other factors.
EHHO From Bulgaria, joined Dec 2005, 815 posts, RR: 8 Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6600 times:
It depends very much on the air corridors the flight gets assigned. When I flew PEK-AMS and AMS-PEK earlier this year, on the way there we took a southern route flying over Moscow and Omsk, while on the way back it was over Surgut and St. Petersburg, hundreds of miles to the north.
Check these recent QF LAX-JFK-LAX flights. On some days the fly over Missouri, on others near the state line between the Dakota's. Big difference:
For such short flights as mentioned in your original post, like LAMEDIANARANJA pointed out taxi times ( = waiting in queues ) can be major factor if busy airports are involved.
For longhaul flights (especially East <-> West) , the difference between haed and tail winds make the difference. These presisting winds (aka. Jetstreams) also have an influance on the exact routing.
Flights from Europe to the U.S.-West coast usually fly much further north than on the return: This way they make the best out of trying to avoid head winds (fyling west) and making use of tail wind (flying east).
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
Flyingfool From Netherlands, joined May 2005, 424 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6408 times:
For excample, I've travelled RTM-DUB and EIN-DUB, RTM-DUB took 1:50 minutes and EIN-DUB (which is a longer flight in distance) took only about 1:15 minutes on almost the same routing...
This has all to do with strong headwinds.
Bistro1200 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 337 posts, RR: 4 Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6382 times:
From what I've heard, airlines typically use 55-65% reliability in their block times. This means that of 100 flights, 55-65 of them arrive at or under the published block time. Northwest I heard went to 50% block times, where half of all flights are automatically late. This was to save pilot costs.
It's a toss-up though, since lowering the block time makes for less crew costs (most crews are paid either the scheduled hours or flown hours, whichever is greater) while hurting on-time reliability and likely missed connections. Raising the block time makes for better on-time at the expense of crew costs and connections.
Don't forget connections in this equation. Say you are flying LAX-JFK-Europe, and your connection is planned right at the minimum connection time, say 45 minutes. If your airline uses 50% reliability, then you have a 50% chance of being late for your European departure at JFK, even if you leave LAX on time. Raising that to 65% means raising the block time, but now your connection time is only 38 minutes (example), so your routing is no longer legal. Retiming the LAXJFK flight might work, but now you may miss the inbound traffic from HNL or SAN. Cutting the minimum connection time is also something you don't want to do (especially to International flights) since that will cause in increase in DB's and general bad feelings by the passengers that missed it.
This is the stuff that airline managers have to figure out regularly.
Measure to the millimeter, mark with a crayon, cut with an axe.
Ckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 4915 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days ago) and read 6172 times:
I haven't looked in a while, but AA flights on ATL-ORD used to have an extra 10 to 15 minutes during the evening rush hour, because those flights almost always got stuck in a long line of departures waiting for takeoff at ATL.
Quoting EHHO (Reply 3): It depends very much on the air corridors the flight gets assigned. When I flew PEK-AMS and AMS-PEK earlier this year, on the way there we took a southern route flying over Moscow and Omsk, while on the way back it was over Surgut and St. Petersburg, hundreds of miles to the north.
Even on shorter routes, there can be a difference. On ORD-ATL, the southbound flights generally fly from ORD to Danville, IL, then to Nashville, TN, then enter into the ATL pattern from the west.
Northbound, planes generally depart on a north-northwest heading, going to Chattanooga, TN, Louisville, KY, Indianapolis, IN, then entering the ORD pattern from over Lake Michigan.
The southbound flight usually runs 5 to 10 minutes shorter, because it's closer to being a straight flight path than the northbound routing.