Can an Airline Pilot Really “Make Up” Time During a Flight?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by ACMM, Nov 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. ACMM
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    http://mobile.slate.com/articles/li...king_up_time_during_a_flight_is_it_real_.html

    With the marked increase in air travel that accompanies Thanksgiving week, there are bound to be delays—meteorologists are already warning that wind and rain in the Northeast hub areas could pose problems.

    Once you finally get off the ground, there’s always the hope that the pilot will announce that he will try to make up some time.

    But wait—if pilots can really make a trip go faster, why don’t they always do it? Can they really shave some time off a flight when they feel like it?


    (Posted from my milePoint enabled iPhone)
     
  2. Lufthansa Flyer
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    They can request more efficient flight plans once airborne. They also never fly anywhere near full throttle, so they have some margin to increase speed to shave off a few minutes. I guess they have to decide which is more important: Arriving on Time, or spending more money on fuel.
     
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  3. cennas
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    With the scheduled block time normally being padded as it is, can the pilot "pretend" and tell the pax that he will make up time inflight?
     
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  4. Flyer1976
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    Absolutely... They can say anything they want... :rolleyes:
     
  5. daemon14

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    On Monday, I left AMS 90 minutes late due to fog, yet we reached YVR 5 minutes ahead of schedule because the pilot "made up time." Ground speed with a negligible tailwind was 562 mph, very close to maximum cruise speed. I guess they didn't want to delay the return flight, since the equipment has only a 2-hour turnaround.
     
  6. viguera
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    I'm always thinking that this is the main reason for "making up" lost time. The planes can obviously go faster, but chances are that if the same plane has to fly the route back then they don't want it to be delayed -- or at least not by much.
     
  7. daemon14

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    Technically, that metal has the ability to keep on the same route when operating on consecutive days, even when returning to the AMS hub, due to the timings.
    AMS 13:20 - 14:15 YVR
    YVR 16:15 - 10:50 +1 AMS

    No wonder both my inbound and outbound were surprisingly on time :)
     
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  8. viguera
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    And when things go wrong, they go wrong in spectacular fashion... :)

    I remember showing up at JFK for a DL flight to MIA a couple of years ago. The flight was scheduled for 6:30pm but as of 4:30 when I arrived at the airport, it was still sitting on the ground. In Florida.

    That was not a fun day. :)

    Not that it's much better when you arrive early though... I remember somehow we made it up to LAS a full 45 minutes early once. Circle, circle, circle, land then sit on the tarmac waiting for an open gate. You have to wait just the same, but somehow it feels worse when you're on the ground wasting time rather than in the air. :)
     
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  9. cennas
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    Once I was on an SQ flight, JFK-FRA. We departed JFK on time and there was a very strong tail wind. It only took a little over 5 hours for the hop across the pond, and we landed in FRA about 2 hours ahead of schedule. Good thing they let us land early and we taxied to a remote position and deplaned via stairs. I would imagine the pax continuing to SIN, especially those without lounge access, weren't too happy though, as now they had to wait for 3+ hours for the next leg.

    It was the other way around on the return flight a week later. We departed FRA on time but arrived JFK an hour or so behind schedule, spending about 9 hours in the air.
     
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  10. goalie
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    Similar experiences with me on late departing flights and the pilot asking for (and receiving) a "shortcut" from ATC
     
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  11. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Also realize that airlines build in time for the flight into the timetable. For example, I live in grr, and to fly to ord is a 30 min flight once airborne but on the time table it lists the flight as being 1 hour. If we leave grr 30 minutes late, the crew still congratulates itself upon landing that they were on time. I think they do this for a couple of reasons. One being the time needed to taxi, etc on the ground, the other is strictly for marketing. It lets them brag about their on time percentages
     
  12. YULtide

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    Slightly off-topic: I was on a train from London to Edinburgh this summer. Upon arrival in Edinburgh the Service Manager announced our arrival and apologized for being two minutes late, and for any inconvenience this may cause.:cool:
     
  13. ACMM
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    Good service :)

    (Posted from my milePoint enabled iPhone)
     
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  14. Gargoyle
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    We notice other airline employees and execs things they tell us they "made up", why should pilots be any different?
     
  15. I think...
    Friend not it all. they couldn't do it because they follow all time to discipline and live always sincere for hid driving because they know own responsibility that what is. hope this will be right suggetion so thanks very much.
     

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