It’s True, Airlines Do Make Flights Longer On Purpose

Plane Padding / Wikimedia Commons and Department of Defense -

Do you remember taking a flight years ago that seems much longer today? You’re right. In the 1960s, it took only about five hours to fly from New York to Los Angeles. Today? It will take over six hours. So, why is this happening?

It is called “schedule creep,” or padding by airlines and they definitely don’t want you to know about it. Not only do your flights take longer, so you’re forced to sit on an airplane longer than you need to, but it has lasting negative effects on our environment.


What does this really mean?

airplane take off
Airplane take off / Pixabay

Since airports have so many different flights coming and going, there are often delays. Flights are late a lot of times, so the airlines padded the flights to allow for some extra time. Instead of trying to improve things, they are just giving themselves more wiggle room. This is so your pilot can say they’re ‘ahead of schedule’ or ‘arriving early.’

airplane flying
Airplane flying / Pixabay

This puts less pressure on airlines and they can act like they are punctual, when really they just told you the flight would take longer than it should. This also means that congestion and carbon emissions will keep rising, which will negatively impact our environment.


Airplane schedules are also always based on perfect conditions. Obviously, weather and other things may change things up a bit.

Inside of an airplane / Pexels

Unfortunately, unless airlines do more to improve the efficiency of the flights, flight times may keep increasing. This is due to more and more airplanes going out at once to keep up with demand. We hope that things change in the future because long flights are no fun!

Which airline is the most punctual?

delta plane
Delta plane / Wikimedia Commons

According to reports, Delta airlines seems to be the most consistently punctual. They also seem to be the most worried about customer satisfaction in regards to a flight’s punctuality. What airline do you typically fly with?

What do you think about airlines padding the time to ensure they are still on time even if they are actually late? Do you think they are trying to trick customers or do you think it is a necessary practice?

If you found this article interesting, please SHARE with a friend or family member and find out their thoughts on this subject!

Watch this video to learn even more about flight padding from a real pilot:

What do you think?


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