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30/06/2009 – What Day Is My Flight? It Is Not Such A Trivial Question
When searching for late night flights there appears to be a grey area of when one day ends and another begins. Given that calendars and linear time are a concrete fact of life rather than an abstract concept, chances are you’re reading the topic of this headline and thinking to yourself “How can anyone not know what day their flight is?”
Well…despite you kicking back and scoffing at this topic there is a chance you may have encountered this topic somewhere in your life outside of travel, so let me clear this fundamental basic of choosing flights up. Why am I choosing to clear this subject up? Because it is a question I am asked with surprising regularity!
Last week I was contacted by someone who showed up at the airport a day early for their flight and had booked a series of flights one-day off based on their first flight. I’d hate to see this happen to others.
First the basics
Fact: Each day is 24 hours
Fact: Each day starts at 12:00am and ends at 11:59pm and/or 00:00hrs to 23:59hrs
Fact: When looking at airline departure/arrival times all times are “local time”
Fact: Local time is the ‘local time is defined as the time at the departing/arriving airport
So now that we have the facts out of the way, knowing what day your flight is should be quick, easy and straightforward.
So if you want to leave on Monday, July 1st you need to recognize that the flight you are seeking actually departs on Tuesday July 2nd. While 5-minutes after Midnight might seem like Monday to you, according to the calendar it is Tuesday.
Airline flights do not take into account that “1:00am on Tuesday is considered Monday night,” airline schedules go by the hard fact that 12:00am/00:00hrs is a new day, thus the flight is on Tuesday morning not Monday night.
Always remember the hard undisputed facts of linear time as we know it…a new day starts at The Stroke of Midnight. Regardless of what day you are heading to the airport and what day you may be boarding your flight, if your flight has a scheduled time of Midnight or beyond you must adjust your thinking for the “day your flight is departing.”
Check your calendars!