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Are flights really on time?

I was reading this article in the Wall Street Journal online earlier today regarding how flights are supposedly taking longer now (in America) than 10 years ago.

The basis of this is the fact that airlines are scheduling longer flight durations now than previously, thereby building in an allowance for delays. So, for a 55 minute flight to London Aer Lingus for example, they allow 1hr 15mins in their schedule. So, the flight can actually be 10mins late, and still arrive on time.

Surprisingly, the Ryanair website is unavailable at the moment, so I can’t check their schedule, but I’m willing to bet they do the same thing.

Which brings into question the true meaning of airlines claims of “on time arrivals“. If you’re setting loose targets – 75mins for a 55mins – then of course you’ll always be on time. If only we could all set out work targets in such a manner as to be easily achievable.

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