Monday, November 12, 2007

Flight Schedule Confusion

Next week, I am flying to Nashville for Thanksgiving. These are my flight details.

Wed, Nov 21, 2007 Denver International Airport, (DEN) to Nashville, (BNA)

Flight: Frontier Airlines Flight 232 (on Airbus A319)
Depart: 10:25 AM, Denver, CO (DEN)
Arrive: 01:53 PM, Nashville, TN (BNA)
Total Travel Time: 3 hrs 28 mins

Sun, Nov 25, 2007Nashville, (BNA) to Denver International Airport, (DEN)

Flight: Frontier Airlines Flight 231 ((on Airbus A319)
Depart: 02:33 PM, Nashville, TN (BNA)
Arrive: 04:27 PM Denver, CO (DEN)
Total Travel Time: 1 hr 54 mins

Now I find this a bit confusing. First of all, if you look at the total travel time, it's way longer on the outgoing flight. But it appears to me that they haven't adjusted for time zones in this calculation, which is weird. Denver and Nashville are an hour off. (It's an hour earlier in Denver.)

But if you do adjust, then another strange thing pops out, which is that my outgoing flight takes 1 1/2 hours, and my return flight takes...less than an hour? Really?

I remember Houston to New Orleans as taking about an hour. Can Nashville to Denver really be that quick?


Sally said...

Let's see if I have this right. Since the prevailing winds in the US generally blow west to east, you would expect that traveling east you should gain speed from the winds and traveling west, you would lose speed from the winds. So the flight from Denver to Nashville should take less time than the flight from Nashville to Denver.

You leave Denver at 10:25 Denver time and arrive at 1:53 Nashville time or 12:53 Denver time. This is a "real" time elapse of about 2.5 hours.

You leave Nashville at 2:33 Nashville time and arrive at 4:27 Denver time or 5:27 Nashville time. This is a "real" time elapse of about 3 hours.

So this makes your trip eastward half an hour faster than your trip westward, which is what you would predict from the fact that the wind blows west to east.

So I think it makes sense.

Sally said...

Tam, I think you may have adjusted the time the wrong way on your trip back to Denver. You add an hour one direction but subtract it the other.

Sally said...

Or rather, you subtract it in one direction but add it in the other.

Tam said...

Yep. I'm a moron.

It's Travelocity's fault for making me even look at this with their weird wrong time calculations.