flaps30
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 12:33 am

Widely Varying Flight Times On Same N/s Route

Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:20 pm

I was checking the Delta airlines website looking for a flight from Atlanta to Orlando and I noticed something odd to me. Delta has 16 daily flights between ATL-MCO and all of them are on 757's. But the flight times listed for all the nonstops range from 1:24 to 1:43. Do they actually adjust the flying times based on busier times of the day or do the aircraft fly slower at certain busy times. I know things can change throughout the course of a day but there is almost a 20 minute difference on some of the flights. I am assuming the listed "flight time" does not include and taxi and ground time.
every day is a good day to fly
 
mogandoCI
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RE: Widely Varying Flight Times On Same N/s Route

Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:33 pm

they're simply padding their schedules during congested hours so flights will still show up as "on-time" in reports

say a 30 minute flight time, 15 min push-back to takeoff, and 1 hour congestion allowance, and that flight is now scheduled for 1:45

surprising how FAA considers that a legal definition of "on time" even though block time has absolutely no correlation with flight time, especially for rush hour commuter flights in the north east
 
as739x
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RE: Widely Varying Flight Times On Same N/s Route

Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:37 pm

Quoting flaps30 (Thread starter):

Yes, airlines do adjust segment times based on information they have on usual ATC delays or there own information.

In your example, I'd guess that the flight scheduled at 1:43 may leave during a very busy rush out of ATL. Average taxi times around this period may be long, so they add it to segment time. That way DL maintains on-time performance.
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
 
flaps30
Topic Author
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RE: Widely Varying Flight Times On Same N/s Route

Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:46 pm

Quoting as739x (Reply 2):
may leave during a very busy rush out of ATL. Average taxi times around this period may be long, so they add it to segment time.

So apparently they do add any ground time to the actual "flight time". I had assumed "flight time" and " travel time" were different. For example, Southwest lists "travel time" on their internet site and not actual "flight time".
every day is a good day to fly
 
dartland
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RE: Widely Varying Flight Times On Same N/s Route

Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:09 pm

Quoting flaps30 (Reply 3):
So apparently they do add any ground time to the actual "flight time". I had assumed "flight time" and " travel time" were different. For example, Southwest lists "travel time" on their internet site and not actual "flight time".

Nobody lists air time -- the times given are always gate-to-gate (aka block time). In order to see estimated air time, go to flightaware.com or another site that pulls the FAA flight plans -- that will list expected air time.

On flights out of JFK, you'll see variances of up to 1 hour (sometimes more) between a morning and evening flight to allow for congestion at take-off. This is why you sometimes have the flight that lands an hour early!

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 1):
surprising how FAA considers that a legal definition of "on time" even though block time has absolutely no correlation with flight time, especially for rush hour commuter flights in the north east

How else would you propose to do it?? That's like saying time to drive from Point A to Point B should ignore the fact that there are traffic lights.

Airlines want to get you there as fast as they can, and they are incentivized to keep the block time short so they can use the plane for another flight. Having extra hours needlessly to keep on-time percentage good has negative ramifications across the entire business.

They can't magically make the take-off line at JFK shrink, but they can set your expectations right, and they deserve recognition for keeping to the schedule even if it's a longer schedule due to things outside their control.
 
burnsie28
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RE: Widely Varying Flight Times On Same N/s Route

Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:13 pm

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 1):
they're simply padding their schedules during congested hours so flights will still show up as "on-time" in reports

I disagree in some respect, if you tell a customer its blocked for 1hr 20 min, but you know thats not going to happen because of the amount of traffic, better to tell them what you think it will probably take considering all those factors. It's not just for reports of being on-time, its for the customer so they don't get upset when they have to wait for takeoff.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Widely Varying Flight Times On Same N/s Route

Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:09 pm

ATL-MCO is usually at exactly one hour from wheels up to wheels down or a few minutes more. I fly it once a week to go home. Coming back is a hair longer. As a comparison, take a look at ATL-RDU. Wheels up to wheels down is usually between 50 minutes to 1hr depending on if we're taking off to the east or west. DL's times shown include taxi time plus a little extra.
What gets measured gets done.
 
pilotpip
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RE: Widely Varying Flight Times On Same N/s Route

Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:28 pm

If you're at a very busy airport like ATL it's not unusual to see a 1hr taxi time. If you have a large departure bank, especially with heavies it's not unsual for the lines for 26L and 27R to be nearly back to Ramp 2.

On the flip side, if you're between departure banks it might take 5 minutes to get from the ramp to runway threshold.
DMI
 
Viscount724
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RE: Widely Varying Flight Times On Same N/s Route

Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:07 pm

Quoting dartland (Reply 4):
On flights out of JFK, you'll see variances of up to 1 hour (sometimes more) between a morning and evening flight to allow for congestion at take-off. This is why you sometimes have the flight that lands an hour early!

Block times JFK-LHR for the 30 or so daily flights on that route vary from 6:45 to 7:40, almost a one hour difference (westbound LHR-JFK from 7:40 to 8:20). Interestingly, DL's flights have the longest block times in both directions, possibly at least partly because DL is the only 767 operator and the 767 is slower than the 744s and 777s used by most other carriers.
 
hal9213
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RE: Widely Varying Flight Times On Same N/s Route

Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:47 am

Quoting dartland (Reply 4):
they deserve recognition for keeping to the schedule even if it's a longer schedule due to things outside their control.

This reminds me of the Deutsche Bahn (German Train company) last winter.    Due to maintenance problems, the trains were often severely delayed. Instead of pumping ressources into better maintenance or fixing the reliability issue, they just streched the schedule by about 20-30%, increasing the trip time. But on average, they were again on schedule   

On Topic: My weirdest difference in flight time was NRT-CDG, ranging from one flight scheduled at roughly 11:40h to an extreme of a scheduled 14 hours. No big traffic delays, so it resembled pretty much the actual flight time. I guess, that would rather be seasonal weather/wind related, right?
 
musapapaya
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RE: Widely Varying Flight Times On Same N/s Route

Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:37 pm

Quoting hal9213 (Reply 9):
This reminds me of the Deutsche Bahn (German Train company) last winter. Due to maintenance problems, the trains were often severely delayed. Instead of pumping ressources into better maintenance or fixing the reliability issue, they just streched the schedule by about 20-30%, increasing the trip time. But on average, they were again on schedule

If you think Deutsche Bahn is bad, I invite you to join us here in the UK to experience our famous Virgin Trains here!

Quoting hal9213 (Reply 9):
On Topic: My weirdest difference in flight time was NRT-CDG, ranging from one flight scheduled at roughly 11:40h to an extreme of a scheduled 14 hours. No big traffic delays, so it resembled pretty much the actual flight time. I guess, that would rather be seasonal weather/wind related, right?

Back on topic though, wind can cause a great deal of difference in terms of routing and ground speed. Usually, I find that Ryanair does a lot of padding into schedules so they can claim they are best in timekeeping!

regards
musapapaya
Lufthansa Group of Airlines
 
YYZYYT
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RE: Widely Varying Flight Times On Same N/s Route

Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:29 pm

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 1):
they're simply padding their schedules during congested hours so flights will still show up as "on-time" in reports

I agree with:

Quoting dartland (Reply 4):
Airlines want to get you there as fast as they can, and they are incentivized to keep the block time short so they can use the plane for another flight. Having extra hours needlessly to keep on-time percentage good has negative ramifications across the entire business.

They can't magically make the take-off line at JFK shrink, but they can set your expectations right, and they deserve recognition for keeping to the schedule even if it's a longer schedule due to things outside their control.
Quoting burnsie28 (Reply 5):
I disagree in some respect, if you tell a customer its blocked for 1hr 20 min, but you know thats not going to happen because of the amount of traffic, better to tell them what you think it will probably take considering all those factors. It's not just for reports of being on-time, its for the customer so they don't get upset when they have to wait for takeoff


I certainly appreciate knowing how long the flight will actually take... I book work trips that get me to my meeting (or whatever) slightly ahead of time, to avoid wasting time at the other end, or to avoid leaving the house unnecessarily early (a pain, esp for morning flights). Eg, I have a 10 am meeting in Ottawa, do I take the 7:00 a.m., 7:30 am or 8:00 am YYZ-YOW flight? I kinda need to know when it is realistically scheduled to arrive.

Also, if they don't factor in known wait times they could have passengers missing connections (adds to passenger annoyance, and airline cost).

Think of it this way: when you are flying, and planning your departure for the airport... and your flight is at 9:00 a.m.: Do you factor into your departure time the fact that it is morning rush hour, and the drive will take 1:15 hour instead of 30 minutes? Obviously.

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