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Long Taxi

Wed Jun 30, 2004 4:10 pm

Looking at this great shot by Mr. Samples (my compliments Tim), I was curious to find out what was the longest taxi/wait period you flyers there have experienced. I know taxi fuel is calculated, but waiting behing 30-40 planes seems outrageous.

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Photo © Tim Samples

I've experienced this in DEN as well on a UA A320 (I even had a deep sleep, only to wake up and find out we still had another 20 min to depart!) Jeez, are'nt there 6 runways there now?
My longest (as a pax) was in JFK way back in 1982 on a US air DC-9-14, where the pilot told us we were eleventh in line. Recently on a UA 767 in SFO we took about an hour to taxi, wait and finally depart from 01L.
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RE: Long Taxi

Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:01 pm

On a LGW-MAN flight I was once on I'm sure the taxi to take off took about as long as the actual flight. 1hr flight, 30 min to the runway, 30min to fly.

I've flown out of ATL and counted 25-30 in the queue behind to take off.

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RE: Long Taxi

Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:00 pm

Most of the traffic in AKL is about 1 or 2, maybe 3 aircraft holding to take off. 1 active runway for landing and departing aircrafty (both props and jets). So probably about 10-15minutes in peak times, otherwise we dont even stop at the holding point, just a rolling start!!!
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RE: Long Taxi

Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:38 am

From the photo caption it seems that RWY 25 is being used for departures. During certain wind conditions at DEN, departures from the n/s runways are not allowable with high crosswinds. Forcing all traffic to use to 2 e/w runways instead.
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RE: Long Taxi

Thu Jul 01, 2004 2:00 am

If I remember, it was something in the area of 4 hours. United 757, in Denver, to Detroit, but there was a groundstop in Detroit due to storms. We ended up watching an entire movie as we hung out at the taxiway waiting for a clearance to jump on "(Never been Kissed" was the movie, if I remember correctly). Then we watched a little more TV, and had some snacks passed out. It was grueling at first, but it was sort of fun towards the end. Nice applause when we were allowed to take off.

I don't remember how we sat there for that long watching movies. I would have thought we would at least be hooked up to some electrical power. Maybe we were and I didn't notice.

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RE: Long Taxi

Thu Jul 01, 2004 2:21 am

I specifically remember departing CDG on a UA 777. I thought we were driving to SFO! The taxi was about 30 minutes, and we were moving most of the time. I've also experienced long waits at JFK and ATL.
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RE: Long Taxi

Thu Jul 01, 2004 3:28 am

last march I flew ORD-DTW on American Airlines, a Fokker 100.

When we landed at DTW, I remember that it took ages to taxi to the terminal building. When we landed (it was dark), I could hardly see the terminal building.
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RE: Long Taxi

Thu Jul 01, 2004 4:01 am

There was an instance where a lot of planes were in a taxi jam for 7 hours! My mom was working on one of those flights too!
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RE: Long Taxi

Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:41 am

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Photo © Tim Samples

40 planes in a roll? Sorry, but that seems to be a bit too much... Dunno how long the respective TWY is at DEN, but 40 planes with an average length of lets say 55mtr or 178ft (which is a B753) would make a que of 2,2 KM!!!

When looking at the engines, I can only count around 15 a/c... So please, can somebody please either confirm that situations like that are not too rare in DEN or do you doubt it too?

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RE: Long Taxi

Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:46 am

Once got pushed off the gate and told to start up and taxi over to the ramp near the firehouse at BUR. We sat there for more than two hours before taking off for SFO. Two hour sit for a one hour flight!

PS: I don't think USAir ever operated DC-9-14 aircraft. They had DC-9-30 series and MD-80s.

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RE: Long Taxi

Fri Jul 02, 2004 6:14 am

The topic had me thinking of the other "taxi". What is the longest drive from/to a gate to the end of the runway being used?

You all know the dreaded announcement either on departing a gate or approaching the landing where you hear you are taking-off/landing on a runway that has the longest "drive"
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RE: Long Taxi

Sat Jul 03, 2004 5:46 pm


Good call. I was 11 when I took that DC-9, and it looked very short to me. We sat in the 1st row which faced aft and had a table b/w us & the next row. Only time I flew a plane with that configuration. Route was JFK-Ithaca-Philadelphia, we got off at Ithaca. Looking at the DB I realize they never operated '14s.

Speaking of traffic jams & JFK...

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RE: Long Taxi

Mon Jul 05, 2004 1:08 pm

If you use the reef runway in HNL expect a long taxi from the terminal, Also EWR is famous for delays in departures from EWR. Flew on a EWR-LAX flight once and it took us 45mn from push-back to take-off.
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RE: Long Taxi

Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:49 am

The longest taxi that I can recollect was at ORD on Dec 26th 1988. We were flying UA to LAX on a 737-300 I believe. There was a heavy snowfall and icing in progress and the snowplows etc. were hard at it . I believe we taxied about 1hr 20 min. before finding a runway that was OK for take off. I believe this was the last flight out of ORD for 48 hours.
I flew a number of times with AirNZ through Honolulu in DC10 times and the taxi time to the reef runway always seemed an age.
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RE: Long Taxi

Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:32 am

In Europe I think Amsterdam takes some beating. I was on a flight last year taxing was close on 25 minutes. I thought we were driving home! Paris was just over 15 mins on a 737.

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RE: Long Taxi

Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:23 am

I flew cargo in a C210 out of ATL for a while. I don't know if it was because of my a/c type but I had a 48 minute wait once, while all the Delta planes taxied by. Usual procedure was to monitor ground until called, I called after 30 minutes, but they hadn't forgotten about me like I thought.
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RE: Long Taxi

Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:47 am

Two different things:

1) longest taxi in terms of distance gate to runway: Paris CDG for those planes from T1 that take off from Rwy 26R (many do): a whopping 15-20 mins is quite long. Otherwise the Polderbaan at AMS is way out as well, and so is one of the MAD runways.

2) Many planes in front of you: I seem to remember that ATL is the worst I can think of, I often heard "we are number 17 for departure".
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RE: Long Taxi

Wed Jul 14, 2004 2:51 am

Longest taxi for me was at DFW. We landed on 13R, the SW diagonal and had to taxi across 18L and 18R (holding at each one for some arrivals and takeoffs), then across the south bridge and up past terminals C and E to our gate at the north end of terminal A. Took about 20 minutes if I remember.
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RE: Long Taxi

Wed Jul 14, 2004 6:27 am

Im suprised nobody mentioned DEN yet. That place takes FOREVER to get to any runway.
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RE: Long Taxi

Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:09 am

Longest taxi wait was about less than 5 minutes at PHX Big grin I was on an SWA plane and we just had a few America West Express Dash-8's and CRJ's and of course it wasnt boring it was only 5 minutes and we moved the whole time.
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RE: Long Taxi

Thu Jul 15, 2004 10:14 pm

Hi there,

I saw a taxi chart from ORD in our ops recently; headline: TAXI RECORD. They highlighted their taxi routing outbound. That was amazing!! 2 hours, lots of extra fuel and a routing that is nearly unbelievable (I have to make copy of this chart).

Greetings Michael
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RE: Long Taxi

Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:39 am

My longest taxi occurred last summer while traveling from PHX-SNA on a YV CRJ-200. I wasn't too smart when choosing my outbound flight and chose a departure in the middle of the 9-10a.m. departure bank(the worst a.m. bank in PHX if I remember correctly). My flight was delayed a little bit because we were missing some crew and ended up departing just in time to be number 13 or 14 for departure. I believe we waited 35 minutes before we took off, and all this in a jet with only one air conditioning pack working! I have never been so miserable in an airplane.
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