Airlines have been known to lengthen flight times in recent years, according to a survey released Tuesday by the airline BBC. Indeed, today, a trip New York – Los Angeles takes an hour longer than in the 1960s.
But this difference is not due to the power of planes or the desire to consume less fuel, far from it. For airlines, this is only to limit – on paper – the actual delay often taken by the aircraft.
An impact on the environment
Known as "padding", this method consists in announcing a flight time greater than that which one knows necessary. If the takeoff is done at the scheduled time, pilots need only reduce their speed to reach the destination at the correct time. And if the aircraft leaves with a little delay, it will land despite everything on time.
The airlines avoid the consequences of repeated delays, particularly in terms of image or compensation of passengers. Despite this, on average 30% of flights are more than 15 minutes late each day, says a consultant interviewed for the survey. The practice also increases the amount of kerosene used, CO2 released as well as noise.