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Flight times extended by major airlines to avoid payouts, report claims

Plane journeys are taking longer than a decade ago, according to a report that claims the change is down to airlines “padding” their schedules to create the impression passengers were reaching their destinations on time. Carriers are adding extra time to flight schedules, in some cases up to 30 minutes, to ensure they maintain punctuality and are therefore less likely to be liable for compensation payouts, the investigation by Which? Travel claimed. ( More...

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Matt Kladder 37
Obviously this has been happening for awhile.. And with the exception of having to wait on an occupied gate like Ryan said. Is this really a bad thing? The last couple flights I've taken with Delta out of DTW we were 20 minutes early and didn't have to wait on a gate, it was great.

This article is written as if this is a terrible monstrosity against the flying public, I just don't see it that way.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Falconus 25
I am not really seeing the problem here. The airlines are selling a ticket to get people from point A to point B by a certain time. They were struggling to meet the times that they set, so they started scheduling more time. It makes good sense. I would much rather my airline be more realistic with their arrival times than miss my connections because they were sticking with a timetable that was no longer practical.

In a way, it's actually a bit more transparent because the airlines are being more honest about what time they think they can get their passengers where they are going - I think most people would much rather be early than late. I sure would.
Randy Shereda -2
Falconus - I think the issue arises when the airlines do not adjust ALL of their departure times ... and you arrive too late to make your connecting flight.
AA61hvy 24
File this under, yeah no kidding.
It's been happening for years. When I fly LAX-DFW, its blocked around 3:20. I think maybe once the flight time exceeded 3hrs. It usually runs 2:40. Only to be met with "We are early and need to wait for a gate." Which waters down the whole idea of arriving early.
The only perk of padding is allowing passengers to make connections they would have missed otherwise.

Bottom line is the industry is going to try and stack the deck in its favor any way it can.
Mark Wallace 5
"The only perk of padding is allowing passengers to make connections they would have missed otherwise."

But that's massive for all of us who don't live near major hubs. A couple of years ago, I took four UA trips in a row that missed connections. "Padding" is a feature, not a bug.
Neil Andrew 1
"Only perk is allowing passengers to make connections they would have missed otherwise" - excuse me, but that sounds like a VERY important "perk", and one of the main reasons why airlines do this!
John Haller -2
This also allows employees who can pay for first when flight times exceed limits to do so. This increases revenue by decreasing free upgrades. This happens more on 5 hours flights that are usually 4.5 hours.
Ian Ward 5
Appears to me that the airlines are now adopting a more realistic flight and arrival time. The mistake was made when the airlines were a bit too optimistic in their expected flight times and weren't taking into account the amount of time spent waiting on a bay. This is now being corrected to prevent late arrivals, and also to make sure that passengers are not given a inaccurate arrival time, thus forcing them to make an unexpected dash to another departure lounge/desk for a connecting flight, or missing a flight altogether.

It's far better to be overstate the amount of time a flight takes from departure to arrival at a bay, than understate these flight times.
Lois Lettini 5
I have often thought this. How do they configure the weight and balance of the airplane if they do not know in advance how many pounds are in the carry on luggage? (I know this probably dates me, but NO laughing allowed). Former Air Cargo agent!
Greg Szanyi 2
When I was an Air Force crew member we figured 66lbs per person for luggage. That was considered an average for weight and balance purposes. I suspect today’s airlines do the same thing using an average number for today’s travelers.
Frank Austin 5
I have seen flight times increase some over the years. I think some of the extensions may be due to "padding" the routes to prevent "delays", but many of the changes are justified and are good for the passengers since some flight times have increased to due air traffic increases and congestions, larger airports, longer taxi times and gate congestion.

The scheduled times are supposed to reflect the normal times for that trip, not the best or shortest times. I fly Southwest primarily and they have adjusted their schedules accordingly and have changed connecting flights so there is ample time to make your connection.

I remember in the 60's or early 70's Branniff used to put clocks in the cabins and if the flight was late, they would pay each passenger. There was concern at the time this was affecting safety by flying through bad weather and cgashing.
Wayne Carson 4
Did anyone consider fact that the cost index has been lowered to conserve fuel over the past several years as well this relates to slower speed and hence a longer flight..
dgorrell 4
Surprisingly, none of the above commenters seem to remember the day of the OAG computer displays when the top line went to the carrier offering the shortest flight time across a segment. That display does not matter any more so "On-Time" is the driver and padding is the way to enhance that. Hardly a surprise - or note-worthy, IMHO !
erisajd 4
There aren't any payouts for delays in the US. . . so any discussion of it is downright silly. This only applies to flights to or from the EU. . . .
dmanuel 4
One need only find a flight schedule from the 1970's for a quick contrast. I wonder if the additional flight times, on some routes, are making the competition (railroads) rub their hands in glee.
James Simms 6
So far as railroads, probably not. Too much track miles have been removed either through mergers or abandonment or spun off into regional,lines that passenger trains (sadly) aren’t likely to come back. Amtrak is doing it’s best to take itself out of business.
Mike Williams 2
Some time ago I booked an Amtrak round trip from L.A. to Tucson. I compared the cost of my driving my car to The Greyhound prices. I took the Amtrak for $100. I knew any airplane price would be MUCH more.
I had the time and am not a hundredaire. On that route Amtrak does not own the tracks and waits for a freight train to pass by. They may make a hi class restaurant meal with the price tag. I enjoy fast food meals. Mickey D's and Carl Jrs food is good enough for me.
Randy Shereda 3
Mike, I would LOVE to take the train to my vacation spot in Michigan, but 3 days on trains and buses (one way), REALLY eats into my Fishing time!
erisajd 2
LAX-TUS $91 nonstop on Southwest - just saying. . . .and that $100 on Amtrak is an overnight train with a coach seat overnight . . .
James Simms 1
Took Amtrak several years ago from Tuscaloosa, AL to NOLA, round trip was under $100. Considering I would have had to pay $30-$45/a night just to park my vehicle for three nights, that’s @ least $120 plus gas I saved. Only issue is 19, the Southbound leg of The Crescent; usually runs 2-3 Hours late by the time is reaches Tuscaloosa, On my trip, it was four hours late putting me & others into NOLA around 10/11-ish. 20, the Northbound segment is usually an hour late if not on doesn’t hit anything @ a crossing. If that, then all bets are off as a new crew must be brought in by a crew van & hope that the lead engine hasn’t suffered any major damage. This doesn’t include any natural disaster that blocks the tracks.

As was said above, Amtrak doesn’t own the majority of tracks in the US save for in the NorthEast Corridor. They’re @ the mercy of the freight RR’s who are suppose to give Amtrak priority but doesn’t always happen. Still, I would like to circle the US on Amtrak before I die.
Gary Gregory 3
For decades all of the WN Texas flights to/from DAL were scheduled for an hour. I've noticed they've added 10 minutes to all of the these flights.
This actually would have been normal. Because of the Wright Amendment, all flights leaving KDAL had to stop at an airport in a state bordering Texas. The furthest would have been KABQ, which would have been at that hour. OKC is roughly 40 minutes, along with KLIT and KMSY.
Gary Gregory 1
IIFC I believe KMSY was 90 minutes and KELP at 75 minutes. We all know about the infamous Wright Amendment but does anyone remember / appreciate the Shelby and Bond amendments?
n9341c 2
For SURE they are! I am SO going to call Amtrak to take their train from St. Paul to Chicago and then connect to their Chicago to Los Angeles train. It will only take me THREE FRIKKEN DAYS compared to Delta, which would take me 3 hours. Oh thats right, they added 20 minutes to that trip (due to better consideration of taxi times). Honestly, the logic of some people - on PUBLIC display for all to see no less - is just maddening.
Let’s all remember that in the day jets flew faster too. They burned the shit out of cheap fuel leaving black streaks in the sky. Guess what happened there?
Viv Pike 7
Just my 2 cents worth ...

1) Airlines are all trying to save any which way. Flying slightly slower today than a few years ago saves heaps on fuel costs, but also results in a slightly longer flight.
2) Many more aircraft are flying today than a decade ago, yet airport gates have not increased proportionately, and air traffic around airports is much more congested. The result being a greater likelihood of delays upon arrival.
3) One of the yardsticks in measuring an airline is punctuality. Needs no further explanation, other than consumer "satisfaction" and therefore sales.
4) Posted "flight times" are determined by block time. I guess they also therefore need to factor in things like ground delays.

Bottom line, if it helps prevent missing a connection, I have no problem with it.
ToddBaldwin3 6
I think you missed the point. It's not that they're flying slower and taking longer to complete the flight, the airlines are simply adding time the ETA. It's a smart move, I do it all the time when flight planning.
erisajd 3
everything about aviation takes twice as long as you think it will - from pulling the airplane out of the hangar to preflight, load up and run up - . . .
Bill Sampson 6
I just read through comments....damn....does anyone remember when flying was fun and the best part of your well deserved holiday?
Jesse Carroll 3
Yes Sir, when I was pilot of my on AERO COMMANDER OR CESSNA 182!
Gosh, I miss them now!
Only when I was in the left seat ! Flying commercially is so painful I have taken to driving even when driving takes longer
Pete Locascio 0
Ditto. Let's hear it for travel trailers!
People would bitch if it was free; just like aid recipients.
Jesse Carroll 0
It's not the price, it's getting what you pay for and passengers don't unless your First Class!
A person on my Phx-Sat flight was rather large and took up two first class seats! Just curious if they had to pay double or did AAL accommodate them for free!
Stefan Sobol 3
I wonder if the crews are getting paid for the longer block times or just the actual times.
Stefan Sobol 2
I've also noted that the boarding starts earlier. UAL used to board 30 minutes before departure, now the boarding starts 45 minutes before. I have been on flights where we arrive early and then have to wait for a gate to become available.
30west 1
Stefan, The short answer is yes.

Pilot pay for lineholders at most of the major U.S. airlines typically is based upon scheduled or actual block time for each individual leg of a trip, whichever is higher.

Trip and duty rigs can increase pay hours versus flight hours per trip. Minimum trip pay (time on a specific trip from sign-in on day one through block in +15 minutes (typical) at the end of the trip on day 2, 3, or 4, etc.) and minimum duty pay (time on duty each day of a trip) play into the pay structure as well with minimum trip pay hour and minimum duty pay hour guarantees. Each pilot's hourly rate is based upon seat, longevity and aircraft flown,

Pilots on ressrve are paid a mimimum monthly pay hour guarantee based on each pilot's hourly pay rate (see above) and don't see the lineholder pay details effect their monthly pay unless they exceed the minimum monthly pay hour guarantee. The number of pay hours per month that make up the guarantee varies at the different airlines.
erisajd -1
airlines used to pay block time - most now only pay flight time. . . . supposedly gave the pilots the incentive to move things along.
30west 2
U.S. majors still pay block time, not sure about the regionals. SWA has a very different pay structure than most of the U.S. majors.
John Jurik 2
We get paid scheduled block time or better. If the airlines pad the times, we are guaranteed more money.
Dean Kennedy 3
A solution in search of a problem. Under promise, over perform. What's the big deal?
Randy Shereda 5
From my viewpoint, the delays are caused by the airlines - when they started charging to check bags. Now, it seems that the majority of travelers try to cram everything into a "carry-on" that ends up weighing as much as they do .... You are boarding and have to wait an eternity while these folks attempt to lift and cram their life belongings into an overhead compartment. Then upon arrival, you are waiting again as the idiots try to pry their stuff out of the same compartment. HINT: If it has wheels, it aint a "Carry On". If it is large enough to put 2 of your children in - CHECK IT. If it weighs as much as your mother-in-law and you can't lift it overhead with on hand - Check it. If it takes a team of Sherpas to get you to the gate, you have too much stuff - CHECK IT.
n9341c 1
Absolutely NOTHING to do with why airlines are adding time to their schedules.
erisajd -2
Dude - I did 2 weeks in Europe with a 21" spinner and a back pack - and good planning so I had AirBnB's with a washing machine .. . I see these people looking like they're spending 6 months someplace and they're going away for 4 days - geesh - I go to Hawaii 2x a year - I can do up to a week with a backpack. . . .
akcga 2
I'm not sure what you would have the airlines do. Legislate that planes must fly faster, maybe? As a business traveler I want to be able to make plans based on an airline schedule. If I choose to bet on an early arrival, but then the plane is merely 'on-time' for some reason (like waiting for a gate), than the problem is my own. I want my airline to publish SANE schedules that are achievable and that represent realistic expectations for me as a traveler.
John Jurik 1
Uh no. Legislating planes fly faster is stupid. We get there when we get there. There are so many variables that can slow you down and have been slowing us down that legislation won’t do crap. Airlines add time because historical data shows more time is needed.
n9341c 0
That was his point, dumb sh**.
akcga 0
Um, that's *exactly* my point. Sorry if I didn't make my sarcasm more apparent. We are in total agreement!

Schedules were too tight in the past, so under pressure to perform better against schedule the airlines did the only sensible thing, adjusted the schedules to reflect the reality of congestion and unpredictable factors.

I'm OK with it!
Irving Tjin 2
"BA flights from Heathrow to Bangkok, New York and Singapore were extended by 20 minutes." If the routing is the same, this could also be explained by the lower cruise speeds of the A380/787 vs the 747.
J.J. Lasne 2
I did notice that. I track some flights on FlightAware and I noticed that flights sold as 11hrs are actually flying in 10hrs or less like Norwegian to London or Air France to Paris.
I'm sorry, but how is this a problem? It's about time the airline industry caught up with reality, and began accounting for Murphy's Law. So long as I arrive at or prior to the ETA, it's all good. Murphy's Law effects all of the transportation industry, if you don't take that into account you will almost certainly be late.
Why would the airlines not do this?
I would rather the airlines add a few extra minutes on the flight if it meens it is a smoother safer flight. There is nothing more annoying than having to apologize to passengers because you have to deviate due to weather or air traffic.
Joshua, you can be certain that “smoother, safer” is not a factor in the airline schedule planners calculations.
Matt, you were lucky. I fly American and about 60% of my flights back home to Miami, because we were anywhere from 20-35 minutes early, we had to wait on a gate. The end result, we only "arrive" almost on time. This tells me that AA does not plan "Real Time" and reassign the early arrivals to another gate, this may be a headache, but sitting on the taxiway and blocking that taxiway within spitting distance of your gate is frustrating for everyone, including the crew.
They ALL are playing on the "ON TIME" performance reports that the DOT requires. They had such poor On Time performance they started padding the Block-to-Block times. Now, I acknowledge they also took into account the time of departure, the airport etc., into their calculations. Example, block out @ KMIA between 0900-1000L and you will sit in the "Conga Line" for at least 20-25 minutes until you can takeoff. There are pluses and minuses, see my comment below in reference to the minus.
Ken Jackson 1
I thought the exact moment of “departure” was pushback from the gate, not wheels up. No?
Yes - “Departure Time” is determined automatically when the brakes are released at pushback. This cannot be changed without extraordinary measures. I think Peter is simply stating that the schedule planners are including all expected delays after gate departure which may well be different for varying times of the day.
dee9bee 1
Many years ago in a historical magazine, there was a picture of a billboard near SFO that said "Fly to L.A. in one hour!" The fare was $12 or something like that. The aircraft shown was a turboprop Electra. Try that today. P.S. I've heard that Western flew the same route with their 720Bs near barberpole. That would work! If true, the Stewardesses would have had to hustle.
Gary Gregory 1
Back in the 80's (and maybe the 90's) American flew a DC-10 DFW-AUS / AUS-DFW and the F/A's actually did a service on that flight.
sailsail 1
Les Gordon 1
This is simply good planning in increasingly congested airspace. Better for all concerned.

No different than the morning car commute than a decade ago in all cities - simply more cars
Richard Loven 1
You should always allow extra time for everything you do in this world so you are a little early instead of late.
Dave Grabo 1
This is a century-year-old phenomenon that existed in the age of railroading, known as scheduling with 'Surely Time'.

As in, 'Surely, we will arrive on time!'
DaveRK 1
When an airline shows a flt time of 2 hrs 30 mins for a 895 mile flight and I fly that route twice a month, but it takes 1:50 to 2:10 (OK once in the past year we were weather delayed) it's obvious they're padding the time to avoid payouts.
n9341c 2
Payouts only apply after a three hour delay. Check your math, but I'm thinking extending a 1:50 or 2:10 elapsed time to 2:30 is maybe at most a 20-40 minute addition?
keegans232 0
Drive the flying route once down to your destination. You will never complain again at an airport because you will Appreciate how much less stress and time a flight to Charlotte takes then driving there. Go with three screaming kids. At least on a plane you’re off within two hours when you’re in a car it’s 10hours of screaming. I think we’re all getting a little spoiled here.
DaveRK 4
Who said anything about "screaming kids"?
I only spoke to the added flight time.
AND I wans't complaining, only stating my experience.
keegans232 0
Did you ever think that they were padding that times because so many people complained about being delayed. So the airlines got smart and added time on for those un for seen delays.
Skip Lehman 1
And this is your lead story, it must be a REALLY slow news day in the world of aviation? Any Pulitzer contenders out there have nothing to worry about from this one.
glang3 1
This goes along with the underlying theme: They are playing the game they have to based on the rules in place. Big deal. If they can tell passengers more than not that they have run on time or even early, then good on them.
"Padding" schedules costs money.....paying to be on time....not rocket science.....
interesting..i remember the "rush",push and shove to get an airplane loaded and off the gate by the scheduled departure time..if not,a"delay code" had to be input for the were given a sort of "leeway" of up to 5 minutes for some "small" issues,and the captain also had some discretion..these were gate departure times only, as the acars would read actual away from the gate and "off" times,as well as actual "on" times and at the gate arrival times..i don't see how the airlines could have "padded" the times as it is recorded by the acars system and also on the screens in the airport..the only exception might be (and probably is still done)is if the captain changes the time of departure,which is done only if there is a last minute issue and the flight must depart on time..he/she can do that,but again,only within a small window of time. ..the computer system automatically calculates the time in the air,and does that after the flight shows "off" ,or "on" the way, "holding" time on the tarmac for arrivals and departures,be it traffic or no gates available,does add the extra time,and is calculated when the flight is actually in the air..passengers are advised on the ground if there is going to be a lengthy delay,or in the air by the flight crew if there is a weather problem or issue at the arrival city,and from my experience,the agents have already been rebooking if connections are missed..the airlines are in business,plain and simple,to transport a person from point a to point b as quickly,safely, and expeditiously as possible,and to do so in a friendly and courteous manner..they are not purposely trying to "stack the deck"..after all,aa,ual,dl, and whomever are in competition for some routes,yes,but purposefully causing issues is not what they do...
ToddBaldwin3 3
I'm probably going to get hammered for this. Mary, you had a lot of interesting points to make in your relatively long post. It would have been a lot easier to read if you would use some punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure.
I have to agree with Todd that your post is very hard to decipher due to its format. Your terms reflect the fact that you have worked in the airlines. But you fail to address the question of *Scheduling* which is NOT set by ACARS reporting times, but instead is determined by the planners based on their intent to improve On Time ratings.
no hammering involved todd..I do the best I can without doing a regular "paragraph" or regular punctuation..i really do know how to write and I have a college education..yes,my commnent is long, but it explains the reality..28 years with one major airline and 2 with another,so I know what I am talking about.."train of thought" comments are often easier to understand,and lots of people do that..sorry if it bothers make it short..plane leave the gate.."out time...take off.."off" "on " time..arrive at gate.."in" time..ok with you sir???
patrick baker 1
in olden times with less planes flying less passengers, the airlines could schedule with lesser posted flight times. No more, and i agree with those on this page who don't see anything beyond realism and gasp, airline honesty here. The airlines can discard those old posted flight times, but should bring back the old seats and spacing. That would really be honest...
Kem7 1
Sadly, the average traveller doesn’t really think too deeply about what’s good for them. Advertising a NET (not earlier than) departure time - which is really what is happening here - and trying hard to fix the actual arrival time passes the logical test. Trust the Guardian’s business-bashing ethos to consider it’s a problem. They can’t even get their thinking straight about “punctual” as either a departure time or an arrival time - only saying pax have to spend more time hanging around airports or inside aircraft … like that’s a negative entitlement. What’s next - shorter security checks or less terminal walking thru duty-free shops? And no mention that this timing strategy supports incoming flight delays of aircraft or pax-connections … only looking for the negatives – not very balanced.
Can anyone believe that an airline would try to adjust their advertised times to save compensation for a 3 hour delay as the journos have intimated ?… up to 1 hour maybe but 3 hours … just ridiculous. Anyway, you can always vote with your feet … go to a carrier that performs on both departure and arrival time … I’d suggest Japanese trains but they run on rails ;o)
Your remarks are valid, but perhaps misses the point. The airlines are simply being self-serving. Airline ratings use “On Time” as a performance metric and padding the schedule makes the record look better. That’s essentially all there is to it.
keegans232 1
As I’m reading all these comments there’s one thing that you’re all missing. That to get from one point to another in a plane could take up to 30,000 different little items that could cause a delay. This investigation never took time to speak to passengers in order to understand that they or we are the ones to blame For the edit times on our routes. This takes the burden off of the gate agent and possibly could protect them from unruly passengers that in the past at Newark airport where I work have been punched spit on food thrown Even their lives are threatened. We all need to take a breath and understand there are so many mechanical and weather issues that we all need to understand that everything does not happen instantly. We went from changing our television stations to sitting on the couch with the remote to now using iPads iPhones etc. and the one thing that we’re not concentrating on is our safety. Again we need to concentrate on our safety not it for 20 minutes late. And for those of you that like to have very close connections. You deserve to miss your flight if you think a 30 minute connection is feasible. An hour and a half between connections is the minimum the minimum any person should take. If you’re trying to cut it you deserve what you get. We need to concentrate on safety more than we need to concentrate on our on-time performance. I’d rather get there safely and be two hours delayed then rush something in order to get there early and possibly jeopardize my safety. We’re trying times people we need to come together as a nation and we need to take a breath and we need to stop this instant gratification. Flying is a luxury it is not a right of passage. Be safe all And love flying and be appreciated of of the technology that’s been granted to us in order to get to our loved ones business meetings and even the occasional bachelor party or bachelorette party. I love line it’s the greatest thing in the world and I think we take it for granted
They've been doing this for DECADES.
Duh ! This isn't news. Ever hear of "under promise - over deliver ?" The airlines are behvaing rationally. You going to penalize me for being late, fine, I'm padding the schedule.
Jesse Carroll 1
Until the airlines learn how to fill a tube with people quickly and more efficient, I don't care!
I just spent 4 hours (2 flights) with my knees in my face! Airbus 319!
The A320 was fine. On the last flight, it was a A319 again (Phx to SAT) and I wisely upgraded to an EXIT row with 6 more inches of room, no problem. Just forked over $72 and I can have that seat which I did to save the pain!
We boarded thinking it was a overbooked flight, they say, and found there was only two seats in exit occupied counting me!
I looked around after door closing, and there where at lest 10 seats empty around me! AAL screwed me again. Did I mention I'm 6'1" and have two artificial knees!
Sorry about the rant but the Airlines only care about the bottom line, not passengers!
n9341c 3
I'm sorry but this has what again to do with the article?
joe danser 1
they have been doing it for along time.
erisajd 0
I don't care if we waste time at either end - as long as we get there when they say we are going to get there. I spend some time traveling - and I expect to get to my destination when they say - it doesn't do you any good to get in early because then you have no gate and no marshalling crew - so you're gonna sit anyway.

The most frustrating part is arrive at the airport 10 min early - which is nothing - and you have no gate, or gate congestion, and thus a delay - doesn't this flight arrive the same time every day?

Airspeeds are about the same - ask any pilot - they have a very narrow window between exceeding max IAS and stall speeds. So speeds has not changed all that much. The airlines find new and ever more creative ways to waste time on the ground. You take a runway with a 60 airplane per hour capacity and run 110 airplanes and don't wonder why 50 of them are delayed . . .
Randy Shereda 1
Actually, that speed window is much wider than you think.
Ken Jackson 0
The problem I see is that lying and deceiving are increasingly SOP. We devalue ourselves when we refuse to call out this behavior.
John Jurik 2
What lying?
Ken Jackson 0
When they pad the flight times isn’t that a deception?
John Jurik 4
Who says they’re padding. Padding flight times is expensive because they have to pay their crews more money. I get that scheduled time paid or higher. If they increase the times, I get paid more no matter what. Times are increased for many reasons, one of,which is congestion at departing and arriving airports. Flying fast burns lots more fuel so we avoid that and getting to a gate early with the outbound still using it is pointless.

This whole article is moronic.
Mike Sloggatt 0
I live 29 Miles from KGLA - My most common flight is to KCLT - I ALWAYS book the first flight out even if I don't have to. At 4 am car travel to KLGA is 30 minutes - at 6:30 am it can be 1.5 hours - Traffic Congestion. I'd be stupid to think I can do it in 30 minutes at 7am. Once on the plane, first out flight time from gate to wheels up, maybe 15 min max. Leave the gate at 8 am & there can be 15 aircraft in front of you. If there is any wind , forget it - Without the added time There is no way I'll make a connection in Charlotte. You have to plan for reality. Now if I were flying in an an old F4 things would be a little different. It would be like riding a bike in city Traffic :) Sorry showing my age.


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