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WN Turn Around Time  
User currently offlineLaxboeingman From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 543 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 6 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5004 times:

I recently took a trip to SMF and I flew WN. On the way home, I flew WN 0924 and it was scheduled to leave SMF 15 minutes after it arrived from it previous city, Ontario, CA. Last year, I flew WN LAX-PHX and it was the same thing. The plane arrived 15 minutes before it was scheduled to depart. I give props to the WN ground crews that they are able to do that. Also, I believe that other airlines should be as efficient as WN, not only time wise, but not charging for the 1st and 2nd checked bag. Is the 15 minute turn around time the same for most WN flights?

Thanks in advance,

laxboeingman  checkmark   airplane 


The real American classics: LAX and Boeing.
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKPHXFlyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 413 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4998 times:

WN does not leave planes on the ground for long during the day, that is for certain. My experience has been closer to 30 minutes but I believe that is the high-end of the WN standard.

User currently offlineN702ML From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4929 times:

Most of our turns are schedules for around 20-30 minutes. 25 seems to be the majority of what we see. However, I still see as low as 15 minutes (on flights at off peak times and/or on flights that are primarily filled with many thru Customers). Every once in a while we will see turns that sneak up to the 35 minute mark, but those are rare.

Now....this, of course, if based on "on time" flights. If a flight arrives early, of course there is more time to turn it.

However, if a flight is running late, even if it was originally scheduled a 25, 30 or 35 minute turn....the ops agent and crew are expected to turn it in 20 minutes.

I am not sure what you know about the history of Southwest....but this all goes back to the 70s. We originally had 3 planes flying between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

Then we acquired a fourth plane and added flights to the schedule between those same cities but also planned on using the fourth plane for out-of-Texas charter flights.

When the government ruled we could not fly charters out of state, the fourth airplane was sold but the additional scheduled flights remained....

Thus, Southwest was flying a 4-airplane schedule with only 3-airplanes....

The only way this could be accomplished was the 10-minute turn. Planes were turned in 10 minutes so that 3 airplanes could fly the schedule of 4.

Over the years it has grown to 15, 20, 25, 30 and even 35 minutes as travel trends have changed (more carry-on baggage, more wheelchairs, fuller planes, etc etc)......and as we have grown into more congested airports.

But is all goes back to getting rid of our fourth plane and 10-minute turns.

I forget who said it.....whether it was Lamar Muse or Herb Kelleher....but when the 4th plane was sold and the idea of turning the existing planes in only 10 minutes was presented....someone high up in management at the time said something to the effect of: "If you can't turn the plane in 10 minutes, we will find people who can."

That sense of urgency, I am proud to say, still exists today.


User currently offlineLexy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2515 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4821 times:

On my WN flights, they have averaged between 20-30 minutes and that's really good!

Three of those flights were at heavy WN stations (BNA, MDW, MCO) too.



Nashville, Tennessee KBNA
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2821 posts, RR: 45
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4756 times:



Quoting Laxboeingman (Thread starter):
Also, I believe that other airlines should be as efficient as WN, not only time wise

Southwest is a great airline with great employees, but there is a HUGE difference in turning a 737 with no assigned seating and a 757 or widebody aircraft, especially in international operations. I agree with you in general about the baggage fees.


User currently offlineLaxboeingman From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 543 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4395 times:

Thanks. I did not know the story of the WN turns, but I like it.

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 4):
HUGE difference in turning a 737 with no assigned seating and a 757 or widebody aircraft, especially in international operations. I agree with you in general about the baggage fees.

I agree with that, but I think that it should take less than an hour maybe 50 minutes. Also, thanks about baggage fees.

laxboeingman



The real American classics: LAX and Boeing.
User currently offlineB727LVR From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4323 times:



Quoting Laxboeingman (Reply 5):
I agree with that, but I think that it should take less than an hour maybe 50 minutes. Also, thanks about baggage fees.

 checkmark  Agreed! The A318/19/20/21 family is not much different than the 37 family. I think them keeping them up in the air more has helped WN increase their profit. If you consider a 20min turn around compared to a 50 min turn around, thats 30 min of possible flying. Over a period of 4 stops thats 120 min or 2 hours more of flying, that many more pax ect.. They got something going for them, thats for sure. Heck you could go even as far to say that many moe hours per aircrafrt equals more employee's to keep them going, that includes ; pilots, flight attendants, gound personnel, service agents, and so on. All around its a win-win situation.



I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to planes!
User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4680 posts, RR: 50
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4259 times:



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 4):

Southwest is a great airline with great employees, but there is a HUGE difference in turning a 737 with no assigned seating and a 757 or widebody aircraft, especially in international operations.

Well... not that much. JAL and ANA board their domestic 777-300's (500+ assigned seats) in 15 minutes....



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlineDesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4226 times:

I am a frequent WN flyer and often take their one-stop service. There is always a very short time between the last passenger deplaning and the beginning of pre-boards. The average time is around 25 minutes. I notice that the ground crew is usually waiting for the arriving plane to begin baggage, fuel and beverage loading.

User currently offlineReality From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 485 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4218 times:

i think it's great they can turn the planes around so fast. my experience is that the planes often arrive 5 or 10 minutes late because they didn't quite make the fast turn around in the previous city. then they try to rush you to get on the plane and to sit down. they kind of reprimand people by saying that we can't leave until y'all sit down and you are making us late--even though they are the ones who arrived late.

in reality i enjoy flying on WN so this is a fairly minor problem--but it does happen over and over again in my experience.

i prefer airlines that allow 40 - 60 minutes to unload and load up again. not so hectic.


User currently offlineFlyboyOz From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 1985 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4202 times:

Jetstar turn around time is about 15 mins. They don't have time to help pax and have to tidy up the cabin quickly before new pax were boarding.


The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
User currently offlineContrails15 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4202 times:

You gotta turn them fast when you have flights going from point A to B to C to D . And its got to be a pain in the butt too with most of the aircraft having connection bags. I remember seeing a WN flight going from LAX-LAS-MDY-MSY-MCO-FLL. This is why you have fast turn times and why I give ramp props.


Giants football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
User currently onlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7566 posts, RR: 28
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3997 times:



Quoting B727LVR (Reply 6):
Agreed! The A318/19/20/21 family is not much different than the 37 family. I think them keeping them up in the air more has helped WN increase their profit. If you consider a 20min turn around compared to a 50 min turn around, thats 30 min of possible flying. Over

A lot of other airlines can turn aircraft that quickly when they NEED to, but they often aren't scheduled to do so. Airlines that operated hubs often schedule aircraft for connectivity to arrival / departure banks, so there is often additional time at the outstations. If the flight is late they turn it as fast as they can, but often if its due to weather / ATC delays they can't go until they get a departure time.

I was on a NW flight from DEN-MSP where they turned a full A320 in 17 minutes. It was quite the feat and very impressive. The flight was late into DEN from MSP due to weather in MSP. The crew flying the plane back to MSP was at risk of timing-out of the aircraft wasn't turned quickly and the flight would then be delayed several hours. The ground crew in DEN made the decision to go for it, and they briefed the passengers in the boarding area prior to the inbound aircraft arriving of the situation and how quick they needed to turn the a/c.

- 5 minutes for arriving passengers to unload (agents rushing them off the plane
-Immediately started boarding as soon as the last passenger got off the plane
-Boarded first class first
-Boarded by row from the rear
-Two agents onboard the aircraft - one directing passengers to their seat, the other helping load the overhead bins
-Third agent after boarding finished came on, running down the aisle closing overhead bins
-Closed the door with two minutes to spare.

I was up in first class, the cabin gave the ground crew a round of applause, it was quite a sight to see, but the flight got out that night and everyone was happy to not be stuck in DEN.


User currently offlineMauiman31 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3952 times:
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Quoting Reality (Reply 9):
then they try to rush you to get on the plane and to sit down. they kind of reprimand people by saying that we can't leave until y'all sit down and you are making us late--even though they are the ones who arrived late.

I fly WN frequently - on them twice this month . . . solid airline, friendly people, they often go where I need to go . . .but similar to above - This fall had an FA make an annoucement in prep for landing: (paraphrasing from memory here) "We'll be coming around for your trash and service items. Please check make sure you give us all your trash or take it with you. Check the seat backs, floor around you. You know the flight attendants have to clean the aircraft when we land and it would really help us if you checked your area to get out on time. And it would really help us when you deplane to give one other glance to your seat area and make sure it is clean. And would you please straighten your seat belts out and leave them crossed on the seat. Thanks."

Now, she gave no indication that she was joking. . . many pax eyes were rolling in disbelief (including mine) -- just a little over the top.


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5413 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3919 times:



Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 12):
A lot of other airlines can turn aircraft that quickly when they NEED to

Absolutely they can ... even though some might think I'm always bashing US (and I might be for the right reasons), they can easily turn a 737 or Airbus around in 20 minutes if the inbound aircraft is late and the outbound has a wheels-up time restriction ... just most times they don't need to, as you say.

Yes, WN is great at turn arounds, simply because their business model depends on it.... but I'm not downplaying their obvious success in this industry.

Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineCYAsutomo From Japan, joined Feb 2008, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3896 times:



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 4):
Southwest is a great airline with great employees, but there is a HUGE difference in turning a 737 with no assigned seating and a 757 or widebody aircraft, especially in international operations. I agree with you in general about the baggage fees.

Here in Japan, JAL manages to board a 560-seat domestic 747 in 15 minutes.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3850 times:

Does the 15min turn around include Refuelling?
regds
MEL...



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineLuvfa From United States of America, joined May 2005, 446 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3839 times:



Quoting Mauiman31 (Reply 13):
hen they try to rush you to get on the plane and to sit down. they kind of reprimand people by saying that we can't leave until y'all sit down and you are making us late--even though they are the ones who arrived late.

This a major pet-peeve of mine as well. Sometimes we are running late and we need to urge people to make announcements to hurry-up boarding. I have had to make these from time to time as I am mainly the person flying in the back. However, I always ask, am polite and sometimes use tasteful humor, (depending on the crowd) and apologize for our initial delay ex: "I know were running late and we apologize for this but you have very important things to do when we get to xxx . So if you could help us out by finding that special seat and stowing your luggage we can get you out of here on time.

One of my funny announcements: "Ladies and gentleman, my ex-wife just called and she is trying to catch this flight. Please choose your seat and stow your items so I don't have to see her today"

There are quite a few flight attendants who do reprimand people and back out orders and they I feel plain embarrased.

Quoting Mauiman31 (Reply 13):
Check the seat backs, floor around you. You know the flight attendants have to clean the aircraft when we land and it would really help us if you checked your area to get out on time. And it would really help us when you deplane to give one other glance to your seat area and make sure it is clean. And would you please straighten your seat belts out and leave them crossed on the seat. Thanks."

Now, she gave no indication that she was joking. . . many pax eyes were rolling in disbelief (including mine) -- just a little over the top.

Someone who forgot who the customer is and did a bad job of using humor. Some people have it when it comes to humor and some don't.


User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3809 times:



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 16):
Does the 15min turn around include Refuelling?
regds
MEL...

For SWA yes it does. That is 15 min of docking into the gate, and turning around, with new bags, customers, and fuel.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3708 times:



Quoting DTW.SCE" class=quote target=_blank>PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 12):
Airlines that operated hubs often schedule aircraft for connectivity to arrival / departure banks, so there is often additional time at the outstations.

I don't know of any airline that can't turn an airplane in 20-25 minutes. We did it routinely at Continental in the late 1980's and the airplanes then were catered as well.

But very few passengers can deplane,make it from one end of Concourse B to the other at DEN in 20 minutes and board their connecting flight. The same is true for such airports as ATL (where passengers have to ride a train between concourses), DTW, IAH and DFW.

Hub schedules are set up so that passengers can connect in both directions between two connecting flights. (A/C 1 to A/C 2 as well as 2 to 1). In addition, the bags must connect as well. It is difficult to reduce ground times much below 45 minutes between arriving and departing banks at any large hub airport. That is usually the minimum connecting time anyway.


User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 20, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3680 times:



Quoting Eghansen (Reply 19):

But very few passengers can deplane,make it from one end of Concourse B to the other at DEN in 20 minutes and board their connecting flight. The same is true for such airports as ATL (where passengers have to ride a train between concourses), DTW, IAH and DFW.



Quoting DTW.SCE" class=quote target=_blank>PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 12):
Airlines that operated hubs often schedule aircraft for connectivity to arrival / departure banks, so there is often additional time at the outstations.

I am not understanding why people claim passengers cannot connect in a 20 min "turn around time" because that does not happen.

Plane 1 will fly a Passenger PHX-STL-CLE-BWI. A Passenger is connecting in STL out of PHX to get to Dallas.

Plane 2 will be flying DTW-MDW-STL-DAL.

Plane 1 will carry the DAL passenger to STL and arrive at 12:00pm. This does NOT mean she has 20 min to get her connecting flight as well as her bag too. 99% likely WN has situated it so she has at least 45-1hr to change planes depending on airport. STL you can connect anywhere within 10 min.

Plane 2 will arrive into STL at 1:15pm to depart at 1:35pm. So Passenger X has been given 1 hour and 35 minutes to connect in STL.

Both Plane 1 and Plane 2 still did their 20-25 min turn around times.

Does this make sense for people who keep claiming you can't make a connection on a 20 minute turn around time?

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3668 times:



Quoting JRadier (Reply 7):
Well... not that much. JAL and ANA board their domestic 777-300's (500+ assigned seats) in 15 minutes....

Boarding maybe. But completing the entire turn? Offloading luggage/cargo and passengers, fueling, reloading luggage/cargo and passengers in 15 mins on a 773? I seriously doubt it.

Quoting Reality (Reply 9):
i think it's great they can turn the planes around so fast. my experience is that the planes often arrive 5 or 10 minutes late because they didn't quite make the fast turn around in the previous city. then they try to rush you to get on the plane and to sit down. they kind of reprimand people by saying that we can't leave until y'all sit down and you are making us late--even though they are the ones who arrived late.

How long does it take to find a seat and sit in it? Trying to get people to find a seat on a 737 for a 45 minute flight is like trying to close escrow.....It's unbelievable.

Quoting Luvfa (Reply 17):
One of my funny announcements: "Ladies and gentleman, my ex-wife just called and she is trying to catch this flight. Please choose your seat and stow your items so I don't have to see her today"

I never heard that one...That's pretty funny. Leave it to a WN F/A.....


User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10398 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days ago) and read 3657 times:

I remember when I worked in ops at DL in the 80's that we had minimum standard ground times that were dependent on type of a/c and type of flight..i.e. thru flight or terminator/orginator. The 727's had like 20 min for a thru flight......unload/load...catering, cabins service, dumping lavs, fueling, etc........it was like 25 minutes for a terminator. We could do that quite often......just a matter of coordinating things properly and even if you weren't under the time restraints, you still tried to do it as quickly as possible.


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineType-Rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4996 posts, RR: 19
Reply 23, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days ago) and read 3588 times:



Quoting N702ML (Reply 2):
If you can't turn the plane in 10 minutes, we will find people who can."

That definitely sounded like Lamar Muse. He also said in his adverts for Muse Air "If you can't go without a cigarette for an hour, find another airline to fly". when he started up Muse Air as a non smoking airline.



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4680 posts, RR: 50
Reply 24, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3516 times:



Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 21):

Boarding maybe. But completing the entire turn? Offloading luggage/cargo and passengers, fueling, reloading luggage/cargo and passengers in 15 mins on a 773? I seriously doubt it.

Nope, and I never claimed that. They turn their 777's in an hour (landing till pushback, not block time), leaving around 45 minutes for the entire turn. Considering they seat more than 3x as much people as your average Southwest 737, that's pretty darn impressive. And not just that, I've just proven my point that there is not (and I quote here) "a HUGE difference in turning a 737 with no assigned seating and a 757 or widebody aircraft, especially in international operations". Considering JAL and ANA have no through flights, it's even more impressive than WN!



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
25 AgnusBymaster : In general, it takes Southwest around 30 minutes to turn around a 737 if it is a full flight and there are no through pax. Usually about 27 min from d
26 Mayor : It all depends on how many ramp agents, etc. that you're willing to throw at it. It also depends on whether it's NECESSARY to make your schedule work
27 HAWK21M : Amazing.How much is the ATF uplifted approx? regds MEL....
28 737tanker : I've been at WN for over 10 years and the turns have gone from 15 minutes to where the average is now 25 min. However a couple of years ago WN stoppe
29 Javibi : I wonder why everyone seems to be so happy that certain airlines have such a short turnaround time when that with no doubt means (as in has been descr
30 Mayor : Then the turn times HAVE crept up, for whatever reason.
31 BMI727 : My guess is that it is because WN is flying longer flights than they used to. Also, they have been moving into some busier airports so some of that m
32 Mayor : Why would a longer flight affect the turn time? The turn times are based on block to block, not landing and takeoff.
33 BMI727 : Well, a longer flight requires more provisions (granted not much on WN), fill up the lav tanks, and more fuel. I don't know exactly much extra time th
34 Mayor : But, like I said, the turn times that the ramp is working with are based on block times, not landing and takeoff. Now, the published turn times can be
35 PITops : We still have some 15 minute turns scheduled in at PIT. Granted the outbound portion is only going to PHL but they still get it done. I've seen closer
36 MtnWest1979 : I will be going on 14 years at WN in April and when I started, we (ramp) would race to see if we'd beat ops in being done. Usually we were on short en
37 TVNWZ : I have seen 15 minute turns in MKE from NW. Late arriving from MSP, DTW or MEM and they are very quick to shuffle everyone on and get out'a there.
38 RobINDYHP : I think we can get everything offloaded and reloaded before the pax are off the plane.
39 Mayor : We usually did, in SHV and SLC, probably 99% of the time.
40 BMI727 : So stage length does seem to have some effect on the turnaround time.
41 Mayor : Well, yes and no. The longer the flight, the more chances there are that it will get in early. Arriving early only gives you extra time to get things
42 Post contains links N702ML : Here is a video I found online that shows the Southwest 25 minute turn.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBolz48uMtA And here is a commercial from ba
43 Futuresdpdcop : I thought they sold the 4th plane to make payroll one month???
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