web Musings of The Global Traveller

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Airline schedule padding

The other day I came across a reference to a 1964 KLM schedule for London Heathrow to Amsterdam flight having 1 hour 0 minutes duration. The same route today has a scheduled time of 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes duration, despite aircraft getting considerably faster in the interim.

Scott McCartney explains at The Middle Seat that scheduled flight times are continuing to grow, reflecting:

  • increased customer (and regulator) demand for on-time performance
  • hubs are getting more crowded
  • air space is getting more crowded
  • airlines flying slower to save fuel
  • in the case of Southwest a change in stance from being ambivalent about arriving a few minutes early or late to preferring to arrive a few minutes early


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