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BritTraveller
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USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 8:51 pm

So travelling within UK/Europe/Asia, all airport departure boards are in order of departure. I arrived in Dulles and was at first confused but saw that the board was layed out in alphabetical order, the same in Denver & OHare. So, is this a strictly American quirk or have other countries adopted this method. I personally dont get it, To me, chronologial order makes more sense, thoughts?
 
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BWIAirport
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 9:11 pm

That method may be easier for a traveler looking specifically for their destination. They know they're flying to Atlanta so rather than trying to remember their flight number, or if they are so early their flight doesn't show up chronologically, they can just look at the board for the destination. If there are multiple flights to that airport, they will then be sorted chronologically.
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AirKevin
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 9:21 pm

I guess it depends on how you look at it. With alphabetical order, you kind of have a general idea as to where to look since you know what letter the destination starts with, whereas in chronological order, you might be guessing where to look since you don't know what time other flights are departing. I guess having it in alphabetical order allows you to see what other flights depart to that destination at whatever time. Might help in case you needed to change to a later flight or an earlier flight.
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dmstorm22
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 9:21 pm

BritTraveller wrote:
So travelling within UK/Europe/Asia, all airport departure boards are in order of departure. I arrived in Dulles and was at first confused but saw that the board was layed out in alphabetical order, the same in Denver & OHare. So, is this a strictly American quirk or have other countries adopted this method. I personally dont get it, To me, chronologial order makes more sense, thoughts?


I do believe USA is fairly unique in this. I get advantages for both.

With the alphebetical system, it could in theory make it easier to find your flight as you have a better initial direction on where to look (e.g. if it's Chicago you look towards the beginning of the board').
 
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janders
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 9:23 pm

Listing destinations alphabetically seem much easier and logical to me. If I have a connection to Las Vegas, I simply look for the letter L.

Seems much more straightforward than listing by departures by time especially at busy hub airports that might have 100 flights within a 1-hour window.
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zakuivcustom
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 9:50 pm

Alphabetical order also works better for me. It's just easier on the eye. Let say, I know I got a 11am flight to ORD, even if I arrived to the airport early, I only have to find 'C', then Chicago, and then look down maybe 2-3 flights (let say, the 9am flight that just left, the 1030am flight on another airline, etc.) to find the information for my flight, instead of having to sifted through a bunch of flights that are departing at 11am, usually not listed in any particular order.

On the other hand, alphabetical order would certainly not work in, let say, China, as even using standard Pinyin you can have some cities that have a totally different name in Chinese. For quick example, places like Osaka (Da Ban) or SFO (Jiujinshan, at least as they call SF in mainland/Taiwan) would not follow the English convention. Not surprisingly, everything is chronological in that region.
 
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Polot
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 10:07 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
Alphabetical order also works better for me. It's just easier on the eye. Let say, I know I got a 11am flight to ORD, even if I arrived to the airport early, I only have to find 'C', then Chicago, and then look down maybe 2-3 flights (let say, the 9am flight that just left, the 1030am flight on another airline, etc.) to find the information for my flight, instead of having to sifted through a bunch of flights that are departing at 11am, usually not listed in any particular order.

On the other hand, alphabetical order would certainly not work in, let say, China, as even using standard Pinyin you can have some cities that have a totally different name in Chinese. For quick example, places like Osaka (Da Ban) or SFO (Jiujinshan, at least as they call SF in mainland/Taiwan) would not follow the English convention. Not surprisingly, everything is chronological in that region.

My guess is language is generally why most international places don’t like alphabetically, as you touched upon. In the US most passengers are Americans speaking English on domestic trips. Everyone is using the same name for various cities. That is not necessarily the case elsewhere, where there are multiple languages in a smaller geographical region and where cities may have different names in different languages placing them differently in alphabetical order. Sorting by time of departure makes it easier to ensure that someone not familiar with English or whatever local language used can easily find their flight.
Last edited by Polot on Tue May 01, 2018 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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UPlog
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 10:12 pm

I'll take alphabetical also. So much easier to find your flight.
I get dizzy starting at departure boards that have flights listed merely by departure time trying to find my flight among dozens others.
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Sula123
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 10:14 pm

janders wrote:
Listing destinations alphabetically seem much easier and logical to me. If I have a connection to Las Vegas, I simply look for the letter L.

Seems much more straightforward than listing by departures by time especially at busy hub airports that might have 100 flights within a 1-hour window.


Is there actually an airport in the world that has 100+ departures an hour?
Not trying to pick on janders - more interested in random airport stats and that statement made me wonder
 
Adispatcher
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 10:20 pm

I prefer alphabetical, as well. I know where I am going and can direct my eyes quickly in the vicinity of the letter I am looking for.
 
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LAXintl
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 10:46 pm

Alphabetical is my preference.

Sula123 wrote:
Is there actually an airport in the world that has 100+ departures an hour?
Not trying to pick on janders - more interested in random airport stats and that statement made me wonder


Well airport like ATL and ORD, for example, can have about 200 movements an hour, so suppose 100 could be departures.

Also one could assume the FIDS screens would list flights for several hours, so there could be several hundred departures listed at time.
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Polot
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 10:51 pm

Another thing to add is foreign airports (especially European ones) are more fond of the wait as long as possible before telling you gate assignment approach to encourage you to spend money shopping. Therefore less need to show gate information for flights further out than in the US (where it is common to gate assignments one or two plus flights in advance at the gate) and show only flights less than 1 or 2 hours away.
 
cvgComair
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 11:00 pm

Sula123 wrote:
janders wrote:
Listing destinations alphabetically seem much easier and logical to me. If I have a connection to Las Vegas, I simply look for the letter L.

Seems much more straightforward than listing by departures by time especially at busy hub airports that might have 100 flights within a 1-hour window.


Is there actually an airport in the world that has 100+ departures an hour?
Not trying to pick on janders - more interested in random airport stats and that statement made me wonder

I am sure many of the big hubs like ATL/DFW/ORD/etc get that amount at peak times.
 
PVD757
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 11:02 pm

PVD does chronological. I think alphabetical is in most USA hubs and large airports.
 
RushmoreAir
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Tue May 01, 2018 11:13 pm

Sula123 wrote:
Is there actually an airport in the world that has 100+ departures an hour?


The big U.S. hubs, especially when the main carrier is banked, can indeed see 100+ scheduled departures per hour. Some examples, for a peak Friday of flying in July (7/6/18):

ORD: 118 departures from 17:50 - 18:49
ATL: 115 departures from 09:31 - 10:30
DFW: 100 departures from 18:21 - 19:20
DEN: 83 departures from 11:00 - 11:59
LAX: 81 departures from 07:50 - 08:49

Whether those departures end up actually happening within the hour is another question ...
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Kno
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Wed May 02, 2018 5:41 am

Alphabetical seems much much easier to me
 
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bgm
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Wed May 02, 2018 7:59 am

Alphabetical is more work, simply because you first need to look for your destination city, then you look for the departure time (a 2 step process). With chronological, you simply look by departure time. This is most likely why the rest of the world does it this way.
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B747forever
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Wed May 02, 2018 1:55 pm

bgm wrote:
Alphabetical is more work, simply because you first need to look for your destination city, then you look for the departure time (a 2 step process). With chronological, you simply look by departure time. This is most likely why the rest of the world does it this way.


Chronological is also a 2 step process as there will likely be several flights with the same departure time. So first you have to locate your 3pm time frame and then find your flight among all other 3pm flights.

As many above I prefer alphabetical, especially if you are trying to get on a earlier flight to your destination. If listed by chronological you must look through all flights in order to locate a earlier flight.
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Airstud
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Thu May 03, 2018 7:22 am

Monitors schmonitors; isn't everyone just checking their airline's app on their phone these days?
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BartSimpson
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Re: USA Flight Schedules

Thu May 03, 2018 9:36 am

BWIAirport wrote:
... or if they are so early their flight doesn't show up chronologically, they can just look at the board for the destination. ...


If a flight is later in the day, it doesn't matter if there is a chronological or alphabetical order. The monitors have only so many rows to display. So, later flights to the same destinations will not be shown until there is sufficient space.

Having said that, I never thought of any other order than chronologically, and I find the idea interesting. I could get used to it.

Airstud wrote:
Monitors schmonitors; isn't everyone just checking their airline's app on their phone these days?


I'd say the ratio is 20:80 nowadays. Monitors are still very much needed. And if you have ever watched and heard the great FRA monitor changing information, you'd wish these monitors would be installed at every airport:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7Qw-q8PEJc

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