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Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?  
User currently offlineTUSdawg23 From United States of America, joined May 2010, 100 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3409 times:

Hey guys,

I noticed that when booking flights on Southwest.com that all of their flight times(including arrival times) are in 5 minute intervals vs. some of the other airlines who often use minute intervals. E.g. SWA123 leaves at 01:25PM arrives at 04:25 PM vs. United 123 that leaves at 01:23 and arrives at 04:26 PM.

Is there a reason for this? I was thinking it could be to pencil in more flights a day by using minute intervals, but WN seems to operate just as many or more domestic flights as its competitors.

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinemtnwest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2390 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3363 times:
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I have never heard of a reason for this, but I am grateful they do that. Makes it mentally simpler to maintain recollection of arr/dep times IMO.

I have wondered why some lines do the ":24" type thing. I know some did so their flight would show up first on computer screens and such. Perhaps some do it to 'legitimize' their hub schedules. Probably can't have 15 planes push at 1:30pm, but one at 1:26,:27:28, 2@ :29, 2@ :30 and so on, makes it work on paper lol.

Good question!



"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently offlineplanesailing From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 815 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3350 times:

It is common to have the flight time in 5 minute intervals in Europe, I don't think I have ever boarded a flight which has been by the minute.

This is an example from Gatwick Airport now.

21:00 TCX287K DALAMAN LAST CALL S
21:00 FR119 DUBLIN BOARDING S
21:00 BA2968 GLASGOW LAST CALL N
21:00 BA2914 MANCHESTER LAST CALL N
21:00 MA4914 MANCHESTER LAST CALL N
21:05 BA2946 EDINBURGH LAST CALL N
21:05 FR5372 MADRID GATE OPEN S
21:10 EZY741 BELFAST LAST CALL S
21:10 QI4666 BILLUND BOARDING S
21:10 SGX234 DALAMAN SCHEDULED S
21:10 EZY8619 MALAGA SCHEDULED N


User currently offlineredflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4252 posts, RR: 29
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3326 times:

Don't know the answer, but if I had to venture a guess it would be that using a time divisible by 5 renders the entire network schedule easily discernible by everyone involved in the airline's operations, from pilots to the baggage handlers, not to mention it makes it easier for passengers as well. It's the classic example of catering to the lowest common denominator to ensure everyone that uses or relies on the process can understand it.


I'm not a racist...I hate Biden, too.
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11572 posts, RR: 61
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3326 times:

The only place I have seen this is in North and South America. I presumed it was to more accurately represent slot times?


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlinespchamp1 From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3261 times:

I am sure it is to make it simpler on the everyday travellers. I can tell you that if my flight has a scheduled departure of 2108, I would most likely tell someone who asked that my flight leaves at 2105 or 2110. As a few have mentioned before, I think it just makes it easier on the traveller.

User currently offlineB6A322 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3028 times:

This is a very good question!
Although I'm not entirely sure of the answer, I'm also going to guess that it makes things less confusing: I have never heard anybody (except us aviation enthusiasts) say "Oh yeah, I'm on the 9:23 to XXX".

This might also have something to do with Southwests 30 minute turns. Since Southwest tries to keep turns at 30 minutes/ac, putting on an easy to remember number  30, :45 etc) might just be more effective scheduling wise.

Just a guess though.



The content I post is solely my own opinion. It is not an official statement by/of/for nor representative of any company
User currently offlineCanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3387 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2857 times:

Up here flight schedules are to the 5 as well.

First it keeps life simple, airplane leaves at 8am and gets there at 10.15 - simple and easy.

Second, how often do airplanes leave and arrive within a one minute period anyway? If a flight is scheduled to leave at 18.00, some days they'll have an easy night and are ready start the engines and go away at 17.55, other nights they might have awkard cargo to load, another plane in at the same time, and a few weelchairs to board and before you know it it's 18.10 when they pull the bridge.


CanadianNorth



What could possibly go wrong?
User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2627 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2788 times:

That one minute can be critical for an airline. For crewmembers, that one minute could make the difference whether or not a crewmember is legal to work a particular flight. For payroll, that one minute could save or cost an airline hundreds of thousands of dollars in crew payroll costs each year.

User currently offlinegosheto From Bulgaria, joined Jun 2009, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2652 times:

Quoting bohica (Reply 8):
That one minute can be critical for an airline. For crewmembers, that one minute could make the difference whether or not a crewmember is legal to work a particular flight. For payroll, that one minute could save or cost an airline hundreds of thousands of dollars in crew payroll costs each year.

You can't be serious. First of all crew member time is probably not calculated on the schedule of the flight, but on how much they worked, and even if it were, what if they would have to board that very minute and then run out of time while holding for a slot or pushback? It does not do any good. I have to agree with most of the people on the thread on this.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21085 posts, RR: 56
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2635 times:

Quoting B6A322 (Reply 6):
I have never heard anybody (except us aviation enthusiasts) say "Oh yeah, I'm on the 9:23 to XXX".

It's used in railways all the time.

Quoting gosheto (Reply 9):
First of all crew member time is probably not calculated on the schedule of the flight, but on how much they worked

For some airlines, pay is calculated on block time and not the time actually flown. Also, for US carriers at least, the difference between a flight scheduled at 7:59 and 8:00 is an additional pilot, so that's a significant expense.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineB6A322 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2604 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 10):

It's used in railways all the time.

Well yes, obviously in that context. But some how its different for planes. (Shuttle excluded).



The content I post is solely my own opinion. It is not an official statement by/of/for nor representative of any company
User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2627 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2594 times:

Quoting gosheto (Reply 9):
You can't be serious.

Oh yes I can.

Lats say a crew flies from point A to point B and it takes exactly 4 hours. They are supposed to fly from point B to point C which is scheduled for 3 1/2 hours. That's 7 1/2 hours total which is legal. If the flight takes a little longer than 4 hours to complete, that's fine. (Can't get off the plane mid-flight) But if scheduling needs them to fly instead from point B to point D and it's scheduled for 4 hours and 1 minute that would put them over 8 hours scheduled which would make them illegal to fly that flight.

At most airlines, crews are paid for the scheduled block time or the actual block time, whichever is greater. This is usually spelled out in collective bargaining agreements. Many crews are paid in increments in 1/10ths of an hour. Depending on the union contract minutes might be rounded up to the next 1/10th of an hour. If a flight is scheduled for 2 hours, the crew is paid for 2 hours. If the flight is scheduled for 2 hours and 1 minute, the crew might be paid 2 1/10 hours or 2 hours and 6 minutes. That's a free 5 minutes of pay. Multiply that by number of flights, number of crewmembers, and it adds up very fast. Yes, I am using extreme examples.  


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