Travel Tips

Travel Tip: Are Airlines Padding Flight Schedules?

Every once in a while as your flight is descending, the pilot might announce, “Will the flight attendants prepare for an early arrival?” Early arrival? My question is always, early compared to what? Guess what? It’s a good question to ask.

Airline flight data was recently studied based on official airline schedules, and the results aren’t good. Scheduled flight times are 35 minutes slower this summer than a decade ago for the same flight going to the same destination. The airlines are essentially padding their flight schedules. This is not just happening in the United States but overseas as well.

British Airways, for example, has extended the official flight times on its New York and Singapore routes by 20 minutes. Virgin Atlantic added 35 minutes to its London to Newark flight. And what’s the reason? It allows more airlines to be on time, even if the airlines are 35 minutes later than in 2008.

There’s another reason as well. At least in Europe, if the flights are delayed, airlines are now required to pay compensation.

For tips on airplane delays, check out:

Delayed Flight? You Might Be Entitled to a Refund

Flight Delays

Who Is Responsible When a Flight Is Delayed?