TUSDawg23
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 2:43 am

Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:44 pm

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.
 
mtnwest1979
Posts: 1793
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:23 am

RE: Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:53 pm

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!"
 
planesailing
Posts: 563
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:57 am

RE: Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:55 pm

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
 
redflyer
Posts: 3882
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:56 pm

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.
My other home is in the sky inside my Piper Cherokee 180.
 
PlymSpotter
Posts: 10002
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:32 am

RE: Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:57 pm

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...
 
spchamp1
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:52 pm

RE: Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:33 pm

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.
 
b6a322
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:44 pm

RE: Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:33 pm

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 are my own thoughts, nothing more. :)
 
CanadianNorth
Posts: 3133
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2002 11:41 am

RE: Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:35 pm

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?
 
bohica
Posts: 2304
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 3:21 pm

RE: Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:04 am

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.
 
gosheto
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:47 pm

RE: Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:54 pm

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.
 
Mir
Posts: 19093
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:04 am

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
 
b6a322
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:44 pm

RE: Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:12 am

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 are my own thoughts, nothing more. :)
 
bohica
Posts: 2304
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 3:21 pm

RE: Why Does WN Use 5 Minute Scheduling Intervals?

Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:52 am

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.  

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests