Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flying Fast

We're in Vegas!

Our flight was pretty uneventful, except for the half can of Coke that got poured onto my foot. How do you get Coke off a leather shoe? Isa talked me out of putting it in the washing machine when we arrived.

Anyway, we took off from La Guardia, which just won the award as "best impression of a third world airport," which we totally agree with. It didn't help that the weather was miserable yesterday and every flight was delayed, so people were sitting on the floors and they looked tired and hungry and dejected.

We ended up leaving over an hour late, but we arrived in Milwaukee on time. How is that possible? Seriously, pilots, I want to know. This wasn't the first time the pilot has made up time in the air by flying faster. If planes can go that fast, why don't they just go that fast all the time? I figure it's the same as a car, where 60 mph saves more gas than going 90 mph. So I can imagine that they burn through quite a bit of fuel shaving an hour off a 2 1/2 hour flight. But still, how much more can that cost?

They got us there in time for the sunset.
Seriously, though. If I were flying New York to Los Angeles, which is usually a 5 hour plus flight (six if the wind is bad), and the airline said they could do it in 3 hours, I would pay extra for that. Why is this not an option? What about flying to Australia? What if LAX to Sydney was a six-hour jaunt? People would pay for that.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Would you pay a little extra to fly a little faster?

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  1. Sorry to hear about your leather shoe. But Isa is right. And yes; I totally agree about LaGuardia (which some people nickname LaGarbage - no insult to former Mayor LaGuardia intended).

    Now to the main point of flying faster. Several points need to be made on why you end up on time when you leave late or arrive late when you leave on time.

    I'm sure you would pay extra to get there faster. Not only do the customers want that; so does everybody working on that plane. But you can't control headwinds or tails winds. Mother nature does that. So, the flight time that you see listed is suppose to have ground time to the time you touchdown at your destination. Headwinds (which slows you down) and tailwinds (make you go faster) impacting your travel time and are not factored in. Why? Airlines don't know what weather is where and when it is happening.

    Trust me on this....Airlines would love to charge more for faster travel. But if the winds are what is causing you to go faster or slower; airlines just don’t know. Yes; planes can and do go faster and slower. Sometimes faster than they are suppose to, because pilots want to get there ASAP too. But there are skycops (or so I’ve heard), cluttering of airspace, no fly-zones, noise ordinances, and airport curfews to consider too. It also wouldn’t be fair to charge you more to get you there faster while the person behind you paid less.

    I did a flight the other day from Long Beach, CA to JFK. Flight time 4 hours and 41 minutes with little taxi time. We were blocked for 5 hours and 20 minutes and arrived 25 minutes late. Why? Kennedy airspace slowed us down. When a customer showed me the LiveMap and pointed out we were going away from JFK I told her the same thing.

    In the end I hope you, Isa, and everyone reading this have safe travels, and enjoy your future travels in the sky.

    You can always rank them on


  2. We would not pay more to fly somewhere faster. We took a trip from Michigan to Utah with 2 layovers and a 3 hour wait all to get a cheaper ticket. Plus, looking back, that 3 hour wait was perfect for my daughter who hated being stuck on a plane for 4+ hours.

  3. How come did you fly out of LGA in the first place instead of a direct flight out of JFK?


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