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23/03/2009 – Can Airlines Bend Time & Space To Create Their Schedules?
Have you ever wondered if airlines bend time-and-space to adjust their schedules as needed? It is well known that airlines heavily pad their ‘blocked’ gate-to-gate time to ensure they arrive within the 15 minute window that determines an on-time arrival, but what happens when flights have a consistent travel times…but sometimes padding a flight time just isn’t confusing enough.
Sound existential? Think I’ve spent time much time planning a clients’ complex travel coordination and I’m seeing things? Not exactly.
This evening while planning a client’s travel from Amsterdam (AMS) to Dubai (DXB) I pulled up a spread of flights over three consecutive days. During this three day period there are six non-stop flights flown my KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, every flight is flown by a Boeing 777-200 aircraft. For some inexplicable reason Flight KL0430 departs at 8:00am every day, travels for 7-hours and 25 minutes and arrives at 12:25pm…except on the 29th of March.
On the 29th of March Flight KL0430 departs at 8:00am travels for 7-hours flat, and arrives at 1:00pm.
For those of you worse at math than I am, this flight flies for 25 LESS minutes than every other flight, yet arrives 35 minutes LATER than every other flight!
I ran this search on KLM’s web site five times with the same results every time.
As I tried to plan this leg of the journey for a client I was left thinking back to what I had learned years ago reading Stephen Hawking’s ‘A Brief History of Time.’ In particular I was left thinking about his rip-in-time theory. Does KL0430 travel through Hawking’s theoretical rip-in-time concept on the 29th of March?
If any readers of Flying With Fish study theoretical math, I’d love an answer to this question. How can you travel for 25 less minutes and arrive 35 minutes later?
Below is a screen shot of the flights as they appeared on my screen.