alan3
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Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:05 pm

I realized today that most if not all US airports display their airport FIDS (Departure and Gate) screens differently from the rest of the world

1. First of all, seems they almost all use only the 12-hour clock. They will show "4:25p" instead of "16:25". Most airports around the world display 24-hour clock.
Do people at SEA really get confused by what is 16:25 when people right next door in YVR don't, or are Americans not taught the 24-hour clock?

2. It also seems that US airports list the departure cities on the fids screen in alphabetical order of destination, whereas most other worldwide airports list it in order of departure time (although I think YYZ does it the US way)

What are your preferences? If you are in a major rush to make a tight connection, would you find your gate easier if alphabetical or chronological?

Are any of these based on policy or just airport planners doing what they think the US public prefers?
 
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ER757
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:10 pm

alan3 wrote:
I realized today that most if not all US airports display their airport FIDS (Departure and Gate) screens differently from the rest of the world

1. First of all, seems they almost all use only the 12-hour clock. They will show "4:25p" instead of "16:25". Most airports around the world display 24-hour clock.
Do people at SEA really get confused by what is 16:25 when people right next door in YVR don't, or are Americans not taught the 24-hour clock?

2. It also seems that US airports list the departure cities on the fids screen in alphabetical order of destination, whereas most other worldwide airports list it in order of departure time (although I think YYZ does it the US way)

What are your preferences? If you are in a major rush to make a tight connection, would you find your gate easier if alphabetical or chronological?

Are any of these based on policy or just airport planners doing what they think the US public prefers?

I like the departures listed alphabetically by destination rather than by scheduled departure time.

Funny story about the 12 vs 24 hour clock. Years ago, I was out with some friends and I was wearing a digital watch. Being in the airfreight business I preferred having it display the 24 hour clock as that's what I used for work. It was about 20:10 or so and my friend glanced at my watch and said "what the heck time is that on your watch?" I explained it and he got into this heated argument with me about how stupid it was to say 20:00 instead of 8:00 PM" I tried to explain that using the 24 hour clock removed any chance of AM/PM confusion but he was just freaking out about the whole thing so I moved on.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:43 pm

Nobody in the US, except military and aviation people know the 24 hour clock.
 
Yflyer
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:19 pm

I prefer the alphabetical listing, but that may well be because I'm American and it's what I'm accustomed to.

My reasoning is, when traveling I know the name of the city I'm flying to and can easily find it an an alphebetical list without needing to refer to my boarding pass. But I might not necessarily have the exact scheduled departure time memorized, but rather I'll often just have a general idea, like that it leaves a little after 8:00 or something like that. So at a busy hub if there are a bunch of flights departing at 8:00, 8:05, 8:10, 8:15... I won't be sure where my flight falls in that list if they're sorted by departure time unless I refer to my boading pass for the exact departure time, or just read all the entries until I find my destination.
 
MartijnNL
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:11 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Nobody in the US, except military and aviation people know the 24 hour clock.

Interesting. In the Netherlands, where I live, everyone is used to the 24 hour clock. Buses, trains and aircraft departing at 14.35, 19.40 or 23.05, it's all perfectly normal.

Except for our American friends visiting us. Their remark that we must be on military time gave us a good laugh.
 
MartijnNL
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:41 pm

Yflyer wrote:
I prefer the alphabetical listing, but that may well be because I'm American and it's what I'm accustomed to.

I really prefer the list in order of departure time. It gives me a good overview of what is happening at the airport from hour to hour. I like to have this kind of information when visiting an airport for planespotting purposes. A quick glance on the screens lets you know which flights are bound to depart.

I can imagine that alphabetical listing makes it easy to find your flight. But don't most passengers know the departure time of their flight? After all it is printed on their ticket and boarding pass, be it on paper or digital. I guess you can find gate numbers just as fast when the flights are listed in order of departure time.

Amsterdam Airport has over fifty daily flight to London. That's almost two entire screens with gates. You would have to pay good attention to find your flight between all the others. When you display flights in order of departure time you might well create better overview. You look to the screen where you think the departure time of your flight is listed. Between Toronto, Dublin, Madrid, Frankfurt and Valencia a flight to London is easy to find. Any destination actually stands out, as you hardly see the same destination mentioned twice next to each other.
 
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:12 pm

MartijnNL wrote:
Yflyer wrote:
I prefer the alphabetical listing, but that may well be because I'm American and it's what I'm accustomed to.

I really prefer the list in order of departure time. It gives me a good overview of what is happening at the airport from hour to hour. I like to have this kind of information when visiting an airport for planespotting purposes. A quick glance on the screens lets you know which flights are bound to depart.

I can imagine that alphabetical listing makes it easy to find your flight. But don't most passengers know the departure time of their flight? After all it is printed on their ticket and boarding pass, be it on paper or digital. I guess you can find gate numbers just as fast when the flights are listed in order of departure time.

Amsterdam Airport has over fifty daily flight to London. That's almost two entire screens with gates. You would have to pay good attention to find your flight between all the others. When you display flights in order of departure time you might well create better overview. You look to the screen where you think the departure time of your flight is listed. Between Toronto, Dublin, Madrid, Frankfurt and Valencia a flight to London is easy to find. Any destination actually stands out, as you hardly see the same destination mentioned twice next to each other.


Most of our boards cover only one airline, so if DL has five flights, ATL to RSW, that’s all I have to look at. Very few cross airline connections.
 
Kilopond
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:57 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Nobody in the US, except military and aviation people know the 24 hour clock.


There are more niches, for instance metereology. US-run systems like GFS, GEM and others all use SI units and the UTC time format. So does NASA as well.

MartijnNL wrote:
[...]Interesting. In the Netherlands, where I live, everyone is used to the 24 hour clock. Buses, trains and aircraft departing at 14.35, 19.40 or 23.05, it's all perfectly normal.[...]


That`s correct for all of Europe, but in everyday colloquial speech every European still uses the old 12-hour system, adding words like "afternoon", "evening", "morning" etc. if needed.
 
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vatveng
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:43 am

The US does things differently because it works for us. Even the busiest domestic routes don't have 50 flights a day, and outside of the Boston-New York-Washington corridor there really aren't any shuttle routes either. Most cities have at most 5-7 daily flights to a particular hub, some really big cities might have a couple more. The airport screens list them alphabetically but most airport websites let you sort either alphabetically or chronologically.

As for 12H vs. 24H time, personally I've always used 24H time on all of my devices that support it. 100% of my family, including my dad who is a military veteran, thinks 24H time is "dumb".
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:01 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Nobody in the US, except military and aviation people know the 24 hour clock.


you're quite wrong - there's already two generations of people raised in the computer tech ecosystem who not only think in 24h, but even consider GMT offset.
 
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:15 am

12 vs. 24 hour clock is one of those silly arguments people have just to argue. They both work; it's just preference. (Btw, I am a pilot.) Personally, I prefer the 12 hour clock for most things.

As for departure time vs. alphabetical, I probably prefer departure time order, but that's because that's how airports *used* to have it set up in the US, so I still expect that when I go to an airport and it always takes me a second to realize that's not what I'm looking at. But again, if I'd grown up instead with alphabetical, I'd be fine with that. It's just that I'm still used to something else. I'm not sure when this actually changed but I did notice it as well.

I have a feeling it changed when airports started posting multiple screens that were capable of displaying a *lot* more departures. It used to just be one or two low-res CRT screens that could only display maybe 10-12 flights each (and before that, physical flip screens without much more space), so it made more sense to do it by departure time since you could only display the closest departure times. But now you often see 6 or 8 LCD screens all in a row and all capable of displaying about 50 departures each, so you can just display everything for the whole day in a big alphabetical list.
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AirKevin
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:44 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Nobody in the US, except military and aviation people know the 24 hour clock.

Not completely accurate. As a truck driver, whenever I get my load information, the appointment times for pick-up and delivery are in 24-hour format.
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:55 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Nobody in the US, except military and aviation people know the 24 hour clock.


you're quite wrong - there's already two generations of people raised in the computer tech ecosystem who not only think in 24h, but even consider GMT offset.


Then, how is it most computer displays in the US default to and use AM/PM? Just an anecdotal poll in my family across several generations, look blankly at 24 formats? If use of it in the US were widespread, why are displays showing 12 hour formats virtually everywhere.

The US general public uses the 12- hour format.
 
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:24 pm

My main frustration with monitors that list by departure time is that the position of my flight keeps moving. Meaning, when I get to the airport, my flight is, say, at the top of the 3rd monitor. Then by the time I get through security, it's now the bottom of the second board. Then once I do some shopping, it's now the middle of the second board. And every time I want to check on my flight's status or gate, I have to scan through a huge chunk of flights to see where mine has moved too.

Compare this to alphabetical order. I know that my flights to Washington are always going to be at or near the bottom of the last monitor. My flights to Boston are always going to be near the top of the first screen. I just find this so much faster and less frustrating.
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FlyHappy
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:04 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
FlyHappy wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Nobody in the US, except military and aviation people know the 24 hour clock.


you're quite wrong - there's already two generations of people raised in the computer tech ecosystem who not only think in 24h, but even consider GMT offset.


Then, how is it most computer displays in the US default to and use AM/PM? Just an anecdotal poll in my family across several generations, look blankly at 24 formats? If use of it in the US were widespread, why are displays showing 12 hour formats virtually everywhere.

The US general public uses the 12- hour format.


Computer displays by and large, serve the general public, which uses and is accustomed to am/pm format. Its the enormous number of people who work in and around IT that comprehend the 24 hour clock (being the computer uses it "under the hood"); and as AirKevin says above, the trucking profession utilizes it, as well. I'd hazard to guess that logistics in general uses 24h.

I'm not disputing that US society is am/pm oriented - I'm simply saying that there are large swaths outside of Military and aviation that understand it, and even use it occupationally.

Regardless - I don't think US Airport display boards are sorted by City vs Time because of clock format, I think its due to other factors mentioned in this thread.
 
aklrno
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:24 pm

I much prefer sorting by destination. It doesn't matter much in smaller airports. RNO sorts by time but there Arn'e so many flights that I can't easily spot my destination in the list. SFO sorts by destination. With maybe a couple of hundred flights on the board (That's a wild guess) you really have to know your scheduled departure time to the minute to find it. Some of you may be surprised, but I don't know my time to the minute. Especially when connecting at a big airport I have long since forgotten my exact departure time on the connection, but I still know where I am going.

As a special advantage, when there are multiple flights to the same city I know what my alternatives are in case of a missed connection, delayed flight, etc. When my long haul comes in 45 minutes early like it did last week I can easily see if I can make an earlier flight
 
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:11 pm

alan3 wrote:
I realized today that most if not all US airports display their airport FIDS (Departure and Gate) screens differently from the rest of the world

1. First of all, seems they almost all use only the 12-hour clock. They will show "4:25p" instead of "16:25". Most airports around the world display 24-hour clock.
Do people at SEA really get confused by what is 16:25 when people right next door in YVR don't, or are Americans not taught the 24-hour clock? Edit: since I've read the thread...IT as well.

2. It also seems that US airports list the departure cities on the fids screen in alphabetical order of destination, whereas most other worldwide airports list it in order of departure time (although I think YYZ does it the US way)

What are your preferences? If you are in a major rush to make a tight connection, would you find your gate easier if alphabetical or chronological?

Are any of these based on policy or just airport planners doing what they think the US public prefers?

1. Americans by and large don't use the 24 hour clock unless you work in medicine or have experience with the military. Otherwise we use AM/PM. Personally, I use it because I spent a summer in Germany and changed my phone over to the 24 hour clock just so I didn't have to worry about converting between them for things like trains and flights, and the convenience continued as I worked 24+ hour shifts in medicine.

2. Perhaps out of convention I also prefer alphabetically. Out of big hubs it just seems more intuitive to me to find my city, as I never remember precisely what time my flight is (ie it's at "7:30" when in reality it's 7:27), and when you're arriving 2-3 hours prior at a big hub airport it just seems easier to find the city first because I know where "Chicago" is going to be on that list every single time, whereas "7:27" could be anywhere on that list depending on many flights are going out, and I still have to find "Chicago" in that time bundle, when there could be 25 flights dispatching between 0720 and 0730. Listed by destination, there will still be more than one flight to "Chicago," but I only have to sort through three or four Chicagos as opposed to 20+ "7:30 flights." Ultimately though, it's likely just a matter of preference and convention.

3. In the era of Apps, how many people do not use the app, which is much easier than either time or destination format?
 
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:40 pm

A number of times, I have arrived at an airport extra early for a short flight within California. I look for my destination city and immediately see if there is a earlier flight to the same destination that hasn't departed yet. If so I can go to an agent to see if I can standby for the earlier flight.

If the data were presented in time order I would have to scan potentially many screens to dig through the noise to see if there is an earlier departure to my destination city.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:08 am

luckyone wrote:
1. Americans by and large don't use the 24 hour clock unless you work in medicine or have experience with the military.

Or unless you drive a truck. All my load information is issued to be in 24-hour format.
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:09 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Nobody in the US, except military and aviation people know the 24 hour clock.


That's ridiculous and not true. People in the States know how the 24 hour clock works, we just don't use it for everyday use like many other places.
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Airstud
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:34 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
FlyHappy wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The US general public uses the 12- hour format.


Yes but that doesn't mean that "Nobody in the US, except military and aviation people know the 24 hour clock."
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speedbird52
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:48 am

Kilopond wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Nobody in the US, except military and aviation people know the 24 hour clock.


There are more niches, for instance metereology. US-run systems like GFS, GEM and others all use SI units and the UTC time format. So does NASA as well.

MartijnNL wrote:
[...]Interesting. In the Netherlands, where I live, everyone is used to the 24 hour clock. Buses, trains and aircraft departing at 14.35, 19.40 or 23.05, it's all perfectly normal.[...]


That`s correct for all of Europe, but in everyday colloquial speech every European still uses the old 12-hour system, adding words like "afternoon", "evening", "morning" etc. if needed.

On my high school Europe trip, my teacher told everyone that the 24 hour system is used in speaking. He also seemed to think that me and my cousin wouldn't be eating much during the trip since we can only eat halal meats.

He really did not know anything about Europe, which made his final trip summary of "everything in Europe is better than America. Try to make America more like Europe" all the more hilariously poorly informed.
 
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:24 am

Kilopond wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Nobody in the US, except military and aviation people know the 24 hour clock.


MartijnNL wrote:
[...]Interesting. In the Netherlands, where I live, everyone is used to the 24 hour clock. Buses, trains and aircraft departing at 14.35, 19.40 or 23.05, it's all perfectly normal.[...]


That`s correct for all of Europe, but in everyday colloquial speech every European still uses the old 12-hour system, adding words like "afternoon", "evening", "morning" etc. if needed.


Every European? In all the different languages and culture? Absolutely not. It really depends.

English and most of the Latin languages? Yes. German languages? No. Scandi ones, Eastern European? No idea...
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ricport
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:47 pm

I think the OP's questions have been pretty well answered by this point, except to say I prefer sort by city.

But, I have a question for the Europeans: Why do most European airports not display the gate for a departing flight until around 1 - 1.5 hrs prior to departure? Especially in large airports like LHR, this forces passengers to rush to make their flight. Here in the U.S. gates are assigned sometimes days in advance. You can show up 2 hrs before departure, have a meal, and leisurely walk to your gate. Only our rail company (Amtrak) has a similar system to the Europeans at the large-city train stations (Like NY Penn), and most of us find it incredibly stupid and stressful.
 
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:04 pm

ricport wrote:
But, I have a question for the Europeans: Why do most European airports not display the gate for a departing flight until around 1 - 1.5 hrs prior to departure?


I noticed that mostly at UK airports and for flights going to the UK. In Frankfurt, you can see your Lufthansa gate already at check-in, so up to 23 hrs before departure. Of course subject to change.
Some say it's to keep the public in the duty free/food/shopping area for a longer time to generate more profit. Others say it's some kind of security measure, so anyone with malicious intent wouldn't know where to go at an early stage (of course those with real malicious intent would still know how to figure that out). At some airports it might be to avoid chaos when a last minute gate change occurs and people would need to move from one pier to another.

Many possible reasons, but I guess there's no official statement to that anywhere...
 
Kno
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:41 pm

If I'm looking at the screen for a connecting flight it is much easier to find it alphabetically than by time IMO. The 24 hour clock thing is just because American's don't use the 24 hour clock, so why would our airports be an exception?
 
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:09 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Nobody in the US, except military and aviation people know the 24 hour clock.


you're quite wrong - there's already two generations of people raised in the computer tech ecosystem who not only think in 24h, but even consider GMT offset.


Living in the middle of the US, pretty much everyone I know knows how a 24h clock works, they just don't use it.
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alan3
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:03 pm

Kno wrote:
The 24 hour clock thing is just because American's don't use the 24 hour clock, so why would our airports be an exception?


Although Europeans tend to use 24 hour time in more everyday occurrence, Canadians and Australians don't. Yet most Canadian and Australian airports and boarding passes use 24 hour time, even if 24 hour time is rarely used in everyday language. For whatever reason people seem to accept its use in the travel industry. I just never realized before that the US avoids it.


ricport wrote:

But, I have a question for the Europeans: Why do most European airports not display the gate for a departing flight until around 1 - 1.5 hrs prior to departure? Especially in large airports like LHR, this forces passengers to rush to make their flight. Here in the U.S. gates are assigned sometimes days in advance. You can show up 2 hrs before departure, have a meal, and leisurely walk to your gate. Only our rail company (Amtrak) has a similar system to the Europeans at the large-city train stations (Like NY Penn), and most of us find it incredibly stupid and stressful.


I always thought this was primarily a British thing and I've heard is primarily in order to keep passengers in the shop and restaurant area......ie: the $$$ area. The gate areas seem to have fewer areas where people can spend money. Not a huge fan of the practise in somewhere like LHR Terminal 5, where from the main central area to the farthest satellite gate is quite far even involves a train
 
Baldr
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:07 pm

alan3 wrote:
I realized today that most if not all US airports display their airport FIDS (Departure and Gate) screens differently from the rest of the world

1. First of all, seems they almost all use only the 12-hour clock. They will show "4:25p" instead of "16:25". Most airports around the world display 24-hour clock.
Do people at SEA really get confused by what is 16:25 when people right next door in YVR don't, or are Americans not taught the 24-hour clock?

2. It also seems that US airports list the departure cities on the fids screen in alphabetical order of destination, whereas most other worldwide airports list it in order of departure time (although I think YYZ does it the US way)

What are your preferences? If you are in a major rush to make a tight connection, would you find your gate easier if alphabetical or chronological?

Are any of these based on policy or just airport planners doing what they think the US public prefers?


Some common practices in the United States are actually quite strange to people from other countries; an obsession with drug commercials, American flags, and taking leftover food home after a restaurant meal are odd to people from outside the United States. Other countries also don't have the same tipping culture -- or the same amount of student debt.

If you grew up in the US, you may think of "America" and "United States" as interchangeable. As it turns out, much of the rest of the world does not. The United States is not the only "America" out there — there's also the rest of North America and all of South America. Many can't understand why people in the United States refer to the U.S. as "America," and people from other countries often refer to our the U.S. as simply "the States."

In the United States, the date format begins with the month and ends with the year (MM/DD/YYYY), and this arrangement is relatively unique. In most of the rest of the world, the day is written first and the year last (DD/MM/YYYY), although in some places like China, Korea and Iran, this order is flipped (YYYY/MM/DD).

Toilets are certainly different in the U.S. than other parts of the world, and one amusing difference to note is how much more water there is in toilets made in the U.S. than toilets in other countries.

People in the U.S. think in inches, yards and miles. The rest of the planet -- or nearly all of it -- has adopted the International System of Units and thinks in centimetres, metres and kilometres (and kilos instead of pounds). The only other exceptions are Liberia and Burma/Myanmar.

Virtually every country on earth aside from the United States measures temperature in Celsius. This makes sense; Celsius is a reasonable scale that assigns freezing and boiling points of water with round numbers, zero and 100. In Fahrenheit, those are, incomprehensibly, 32 and 212. The Celsius system has logic on its side, yet the U.S. stubbornly sticks to a scale based on “the freezing point of a mixture of ammonium chloride brine” on one side, and “the approximate temperature of the human body” on the other.

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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:16 am

The use of the 24 hour clock is rare in the US outside of the Airline business and the military


Rare enough that many people not only don’t understand it but they call it ‘military time’ !!
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LH748
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:17 pm

Both systems have their advantages

Listing by alphabet gives you a great overview of the amount of flights to each destination and is very useful if you missed a flight and want to check when the next alternative is.
Listing by time is perfect for observing what flights are at the airport at a specific time and very useful for spotters and avgeeks.
306 310 318 319 320 321 333 343 388 ATR72 733 737 738 739 743 744 748 752 753 763 764 772 77W 788 CRJ7 CRJ9 E170 F100 MD11 RJ1H
AA AB AC AF AK AZ BA DE DL EW FD FR HF HG IB IR MF KU LH LT LX OD TG TK TP UA VJ VN WN W6 YP YW
 
Rossiya747
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Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:41 pm

Also, many airport terminals are separated airline/international or domestic. For example, EWR's Terminal A are all the other North American Airlines (AA,NK, DL, WN, etc.), B is all the international departures (non-United) and all of international arrivals (including UA), and C is only United.

Anyways, I do prefer the 24-hour clock as an American but I like alphabetical order.
223 319 320 321 332 333 346 388 734 737 738 739 38M 744 752 753 763 764 772 773 77W 788 789 208 CRJ2 E145 E190 UA DL AA WN AC CM 4O AV 2K FI DY D8 SK LH EI FR U2 IB OS LX BA VS BT PS MS SA SW QR EY HY AI 9W TG SQ MH AK D7 QZ BR NH CA QF MI
 
global2
Posts: 502
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:50 am

Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:48 pm

UALFAson wrote:
My main frustration with monitors that list by departure time is that the position of my flight keeps moving. Meaning, when I get to the airport, my flight is, say, at the top of the 3rd monitor. Then by the time I get through security, it's now the bottom of the second board. Then once I do some shopping, it's now the middle of the second board. And every time I want to check on my flight's status or gate, I have to scan through a huge chunk of flights to see where mine has moved too.

Compare this to alphabetical order. I know that my flights to Washington are always going to be at or near the bottom of the last monitor. My flights to Boston are always going to be near the top of the first screen. I just find this so much faster and less frustrating.


I agree with you, I find the alphabetical system much more convenient. In overseas airports, particularly in Asia, you not only have to search and search for your flight, you also need to wait for the board to cycle through between Roman letters (English) vs. the local written language, be it Mandarin, Korean, Japanese kanji and katakana, whatever. Add to that the fact that many flight have three or four codeshare flight numbers to cycle through, it becomes very challenging to find out where your flight is.

As for the British custom of not posting your flight until the last possible minute (some poster above said 1-1.5 hours, I have found it to be far less than that), I find it causes a great deal of additional anxiety because I constantly feel the need to check back at the nearest board to see if my gate has been posted yet. If I knew in advance where I had to go, I would be able to relax and shop or dine in the shopping zone because I would be able to plan my time as I see fit.

As for the 24 hour clock thing, do people in other countries really say to each other: "Why don't we meet for dinner at 20"?
 
danman132x
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 4:57 pm

Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:18 am

Max Q wrote:
The use of the 24 hour clock is rare in the US outside of the Airline business and the military


Rare enough that many people not only don’t understand it but they call it ‘military time’ !!


We also use it almost exclusively in the Healthcare field. At least both hospitals I have worked at. A radiologic technologist currently, but everyone in the hospitals use it.
 
blueflyer
Posts: 4158
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:17 am

Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:55 pm

aklrno wrote:
Especially when connecting at a big airport I have long since forgotten my exact departure time on the connection, but I still know where I am going. As a special advantage, when there are multiple flights to the same city I know what my alternatives are in case of a missed connection, delayed flight, etc. When my long haul comes in 45 minutes early like it did last week I can easily see if I can make an earlier flight

That! I'm all for 24-hour time and alphabetized departure screens. Makes life easier.

I do echo others' comments about the general US public's confusion with a 24-hour time though. More than once have I had to explain that, to me, it is not military time, it is just time.. as it is measured in the many places I was raised throughout my life.

MAH4546 wrote:
People in the States know how the 24 hour clock works, we just don't use it for everyday use like many other places.

I have plenty of college-educated millennials on my team who need a Google search to be on time for a meeting at 15:00.
This space forcibly cleansed to protect truthers
 
airhansa
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:18 pm

Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:04 pm

I think part of the issue with alphabetical listing outside the US is when there are multiple languages at play:

00:00 FN123 City Airport Gate 00 > 00:00 FN123 Aeropuerto de la Ciudad Port 00 > 00:00 FN123 Stadtflughafen Tor 00

With listing according to time, the order can remain the same, but with listing by city, the order will move quite regularly, which in places where multilingualism is common (for example, many people can understand what 'Deutschland' is even if they don't speak German) is more convenient. A regular can easily continue to read information even as the language changes.
 
FlyHappy
Posts: 1071
Joined: Sat May 13, 2017 1:06 pm

Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:15 pm

blueflyer wrote:
I have plenty of college-educated millennials on my team who need a Google search to be on time for a meeting at 15:00.


"College education" has precisely nothing to do with familiarity with alternative measurements. IMO, people with vocational/specialized educations or "on the job" type skill, are probably more likely to actually use 24h than those who've followed a university to "white collar" track.
 
Koosi
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 12:57 am

Re: Why are US airport display screens so different from everywhere else?

Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:06 pm

global2 wrote:
I agree with you, I find the alphabetical system much more convenient. In overseas airports, particularly in Asia, you not only have to search and search for your flight, you also need to wait for the board to cycle through between Roman letters (English) vs. the local written language, be it Mandarin, Korean, Japanese kanji and katakana, whatever. Add to that the fact that many flight have three or four codeshare flight numbers to cycle through, it becomes very challenging to find out where your flight is.

And that's exactly why it's not used outside of the U.S. In a multi-language (let alone multi-script) environment the board would have to completely rearrange every time it cycles between English and the local (or even a third) language, making it extremely confusing. Even at an airport that uses English exclusively in destination names the local alphabetical order may differ, leading to confusion.

global2 wrote:
As for the 24 hour clock thing, do people in other countries really say to each other: "Why don't we meet for dinner at 20"?


It's not that unusual actually (but most people would say at 8). However, if your flight leaves at 20:05 or you have a train at 19:28 then it usually is actually referred to as such. The 24 hour system leaves very little room for confusion.

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