Flights feel longer than ever and, no, you’re not imagining it. Air travel is slower than ever before. 25 years ago, a flight from London to New York would take seven hours but now it takes eight.
But how can this be if plane technology has only advanced?
Slower flying: For one, pilots are flying more slowly to save on expensive fuel. It’s estimated that JetBlue has saved $13.6 million per year by flying even just two minutes slower.
Schedule padding: Airlines have also added more ‘schedule padding’ to combat delays. So a flight that only takes an hour will show a scheduled route of 80 minutes in case there are any issues or delays.
Air Traffic: With more people flying, the skies are more crowded than ever oftentimes, pilots will have to wait longer in the sky before they have a clear chance to land.
Given all the reasons above, it’s reasonable that flights have gotten longer. What we really need answers for is why airplane headrests don’t have built-in neck pillows by now.