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The Wall Street Journal on Thursday takes a look at ever-expanding flight times on airlines' schedules and notes that one Delta Air Lines trip from New York to L.A. that used to be advertised at six hours is now slated for seven. What's happening, are airline schedules consuming too many carbs?
The Journal cites many factors, but one of the more sinister ones is that some airlines are blocking larger flight times in order to appear to be on time more than the competition. American Airlines, for one, has blocked out more time for flights in an effort to improve on-time landings, the paper states.
Other airlines cite increased and backed up air and tarmac traffic as well as slower flight speeds to save fuel. "The inflation in block time is really because of more variability," Southwest Airlines schedule planner said Bill Owen told the Journal.
So a United Airlines flight from L.A. to San Francisco has gained 19 minutes on the schedule compared to 1996. An Alaska flight from Portland to L.A. is up 10 minutes. And that New York-to-L.A. flight we told you about, from JFK to LAX, has grown by a whopping 64 minutes.