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Flight timings in USA

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Flight timings in USA

Old 23rd Feb 2020, 05:59
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Flight timings in USA

Hey. I was traveling recently and I had seen that flight timings in USA can be timed to the very minute, for example 1034. 1059, 1123 departure.

This is very uncommon in Europe as most flights are scheduled in increments of 5 mins. For example 0600, 0615, 0620 and so on...

Does anyone know why this is or why airlines schedule their flights to the very minute instead of rounding to the nearest 5?

Some random examples...
USA Examples
B6615 (10:59 JFK-SFO)
UA1142 (05:24 PHX-IAH)
AA1982 (06:18 FLL-CLT)

Europe Examples
BE843 (08:00 EDI-BHX)
UA998 (10:10 BRU-EWR)
KL1545 (09:25 AMS-LBA)

The above times are scheduled times and not estimated and some have different times throughout the week, but my question still remains. Of course there are still flights within USA that schedule to depart on the increments of 5.
NorthEasterner is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2020, 07:55
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I don't know why it's done but it's been like this for decades
bean is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2020, 09:41
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The main reasons for fine-tuning the published block time are (a) because faster/earlier flights get ranked higher in the CRSs and (b) to improve the punctuality stats.
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Old 23rd Feb 2020, 10:36
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I did a couple of internal flights in the US this year and I reguarly got advised of changes to the departure time before the planned date.

Most of them were a change of 3 minutes!
Level bust is online now  
Old 24th Feb 2020, 06:40
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Is this something to do with airport scheduling, i.e. there is a gate departure time (normally as per your ticket) but a runway departure time that will be some minutes after that, based on taxi time etc. Perhaps they use the runway departure time in the US?
LessThanSte is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2020, 07:20
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Originally Posted by LessThanSte View Post
Is this something to do with airport scheduling, i.e. there is a gate departure time (normally as per your ticket) but a runway departure time that will be some minutes after that, based on taxi time etc. Perhaps they use the runway departure time in the US?
No, runway times aren't used in timetables, for obvious reasons.
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Old 24th Feb 2020, 08:23
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There are only a handful of slot restricted airports in the US. JFK, LaGuardia and Reagan Washington National are level 3 airports and Chicago O'Hare, LAX, Newark and SFO are level 2. Every other airport you just file your flight plan (for an IFR flight) and go.

I think it’s just all marketing. If there’s a 7:38 departure between A and B and a 7:54 departure on a different airline you’ll pick whichever one fits your schedule better if you’re not locked into a loyalty program.

Airlines have immense data files on schedules. They know the average taxi times for each flight and build that into the schedule. If they start the day at 6am with a 2 hour flight that averages 10 minutes taxi time at the departure airport and 8 minutes at the arrival airport and plan a 50 minute turn then the next flight leaves at 9:08.
MarkerInbound is offline  
Old 25th Feb 2020, 16:00
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Airlines in the US have long done this, way before the days of CRS schedule ranking or punctuality statistics. It makes it look like they are running a tight ship for punctuality. It doesn't make the slightest difference to when they are ready to start.
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Old 6th Mar 2020, 00:45
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It's just one of many North American quirks, such as quoting shop prices without the sales taxes included or turning right on a red light. The latter is actually a very good idea!

Funnily enough on the longer rail routes in Europe, timetabling is the same as in USA/Canada and not rounded up/down to the nearest five.
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Old 6th Mar 2020, 10:15
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Certainly xx59 flights were very common at slot constrained airports when there was no slot for the following hour.

If you were to time trains to closest five minutes many timetables would show trains departing before they arrive. In the UK there is a working timetable used by the industry and works to the nearest 30 seconds & a published passenger timetable. Often two minutes recovery time is included at the terminal so the two can differ. The extra two minutes helps with punctuality stats (ok it may be a con). Up to 15 minutes can be added on a Sunday (compare the times in both directions).

I was going to say that the same doesn't apply with airlines but Dulles airport used to publish mobile lounge times and as a result I believe that multi-sector flights have been timed to depart before they arrive. The same may have been true at Montreal Mirabelle.)

I have seen cases of codeshare flights showing different times from operating & codeshare airlines but I suspect that this is due to a delay in updating times somewhere in the system when the operating airline tweaks its times.
Peter47 is offline  
Old 8th Mar 2020, 00:46
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[/QUOTE] If you were to time trains to closest five minutes many timetables would show trains departing before they arrive[QUOTE]

Indeed, that is why the words "longer rail routes in Europe" were used in my post. hope this helps.
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