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Landing Ahead Of Schedule: How Early?

Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:12 pm

A thread in the general aviation forum about a short flight time leads me to ask this question: On a regularly scheduled flight, what is the earliest you've arrived ahead of schedule? I've flown on AA from STT-BOS that arrived about 30 minutes early, and LHR-BOS that arrived about 45 minutes early. Once on the ground, though, did you have to wait for a gate?

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RE: Landing Ahead Of Schedule: How Early?

Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:21 pm

Was over an hour early on our SIN-AMS flight back in 2004.
We had a gate, as this was very early in the morning, but had to wait over half an hour for ground staff to arrive.
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RE: Landing Ahead Of Schedule: How Early?

Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:55 pm

I landed at SFO about 45 mins early in December on a BA 744 from LHR. Didn't have to wait for a gate luckily and I was straight off and through immigration and customs in no time.
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RE: Landing Ahead Of Schedule: How Early?

Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:03 pm

I'm not sure about longer flights, I can remember arriving over London onboard a VS B744 from JFK at least an hour and a half earlier than expected (thanks to a huge tail wind) but by the time we had held above LHR for an hour and then entered the pattern it only worked out as being 15 mins.

One evening flight back to PLH I took was very early by proportion; the five passengers getting on ar BRS had all sat by the gate and the inbound flight from Manchester had arrived early too. Flight took off 15 mins ahead of schedule and landed 25 mins early - only 10 minutes after we should have been taking off! (Incidentally, it was so impressive that it caused me to start the last thread on this topic, two years ago!)

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RE: Landing Ahead Of Schedule: How Early?

Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:28 am

Just flew HA 18 HNL-LAS last Friday and we came in 30 minutes early. Must have had good winds. Gave me extra time for the casino LOL.
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RE: Landing Ahead Of Schedule: How Early?

Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:06 am

I flew ATL-LHR last week. We were scheduled to arrive at 1215p. I was sitting on Heathrow Express at 10:58 a.m. (after clearing customs/immigration). Plane parked at the gate at 10:44 a.m. - T4 was absolutely empty at that hour, so we just pulled off of Rwy 27L, took a left turn and were at the gate a minute after hitting the ground.

My return LHR-MSP was due in at 3:15p and we landed at 2:12p as well. Again, no problem getting a gate at MSP.
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RE: Landing Ahead Of Schedule: How Early?

Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:24 am

Was lucky once was flying from LHR-YUL on AC and then take a bus to YOW. Went to the gate asked if they had a direct flight to YOW, they put me on it. That flight was scheduled to leave an hour and a half before the LHR-YUL flight and we still arrived 40 mins early.
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RE: Landing Ahead Of Schedule: How Early?

Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:50 pm

I was flying on SA203 from JNB to JFK in November via DKR. We left DKR 10 minutes later than scheduled and arrived at JFK at 06:15am. Scheduled arrival was 07:05am.
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RE: Landing Ahead Of Schedule: How Early?

Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:18 pm

1hr 35min early when flying DTW-FRA a couple winters ago, and no we didn't have to wait for a gate as it was 5:50 in the morning.
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RE: Landing Ahead Of Schedule: How Early?

Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:01 am

Not sure if this counts, but air-travel may only be a part of getting to our actual destination.
Weather or maintenance-items usually create delays in our travel-plans, but twice they actually speeded up my trips.

Back in the spring of '83 I had to go from Toronto to Oslo , the last leg being with SAS from JFK, with a DC-10 that normally would fly into GRM/ENGM -which is now called OSL. (a 45min. car ride from my parent's home which was 10min. from FBU) Back then Oslo's main airport was FBU.

Looking out the window on approach to GRM, I could see only gray nothingness, until I felt a huge power-increase and the plane pulling up, -at the same time that I could see trees under us!

-After coming up on top of the fog, it was announced that the airplane had aborted the landing due to visibility and our options were to divert to FBU (if we could beat the fog that was rapidly rolling in there too) or go to ARN which actually was the end stop of the flight.

On the downwind-leg to FBU, I could see half the runway already shrouded with fog, and after a carrier-style approach we touched down, the brakes and the reversers only coming on after we had rolled into the fog.
Since my dad was at GRM to meet me, I just took a taxi to his house and beat him there by at least an hour.

The other time it happened to me was a few years later, this time going back to YYZ via BRU and YMX with SABENA and Air Canada.
Getting to the airport in BRU early in the morning after spending a great night in the city, we were told the flight was cancelled since the incoming plane was still sitting in YMX after being hit by a catering-truck.
-But if we wanted, they could fly us to AMS and we could catch the direct KLM flight to YYZ!

-End of story was that we got into YYZ about 2 hours before our actual arrival-time with Air Canada,
-and we missed the bus-ride between YMX and YUL too!


[Edited 2009-01-29 16:15:39]

[Edited 2009-01-29 16:19:14]
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RE: Landing Ahead Of Schedule: How Early?

Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:38 pm

Have had many flights that arrive well ahead of schedule, the most notable being DXB-SIN arriving 1:20 hrs early, JNB-DXB being 00:55 and a DXB-BKK being 1:00 early. The record still is a SIN-LAX on the SQ non-stop arriving at 14:45 instead of 16:15. I remember confusing friends that I was staying with by getting to their place before our scheduled time of arrival!
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RE: Landing Ahead Of Schedule: How Early?

Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:26 pm

The following example only involves arriving 30 minutes early, but it is the fact that the block time is short that makes it, in my opinion at least, more impressive.

EMA-BHD. Scheduled departure: 0630. Scheduled arrival: 0730. Block: 1 hour. TOOK OFF at 0630 and landed 0700 = 30 minutes early on a 1 hour block.
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