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Old 11-06-2014, 02:24 PM
 
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I only missed a connecting flight once. Flying from Madison, WI to LAX via Chicago. Got to Chicago late. But no worries, they had flights to LAX once every hour.
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
Fuel costs. Just like on the ground, a lead foot from the driver/pilot makes for a higher and more expensive fuel burn rate. The airline's operations center long ago learned the best fuel efficiency speed for each aircraft they fly and pilots are expected to remain at about that speed unless they've got a good reason to make that flight more expensive for the airline. (Rebooking missed connections also counts as an increased expense, especially if they need to use a partner airline to get the passenger to a final destination. It's all about balancing it out for the bean counters.)
Exactly.

The plane, like your car has an ideal speed or cruising speed.

It's the optimization.
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Old 11-09-2014, 02:06 PM
 
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Most people do have connecting flights nowadays so if they wait, they may make 75% of the flight miss their own connecting flights, or at the very least be in the position of having to decide whether to delay the flight for those passengers. This is especially true since airlines know that people generally want the shortest connection that they can get away with. I've had 12 connections this year and the longest one has been an hour and 15 minutes and the shortest was 40 minutes. On the 40 minute connection, there were a lot of people that were on both flights with me. We seriously got off one plane, went to our new gate, and boarded with no wait other than the line in front of us. If delayed by an hour, the airline would have had probably 60-70 people that would have needed rebooked on other flights.

Keep in mind, a plane being delayed early in the day will usually result in delays at each stop that plane makes. A 15 minute delay on the first flight of the day can easily turn into an hour or longer delay for the 3rd flight of the day. Along with that, one plane being delayed will also result in other planes being delayed because a flight will arrive and need the gate that the delayed flight is at.
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