Can Airlines Bend Time & Space To Create Their Schedules?

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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’sA 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.

Happy Flying!
–Click Image Below To Enlarge–
a screenshot of a flight schedule


  1. Daylight savings time starts on March 29th in Amsterdam, so 1pm is really noon if you try to compare to the previous day’s flight.

    Now why is the flight scheduled to last 25 minutes less? No clue…

  2. Noam,

    Thanks…we have one possible answer to one part of the riddle…where is the rest of the answer (except this flight would depart/arrive on the same date, and does not cross the international date line, so that may throw off the day light savings concept).

    Anyone care to shed any light on how this flight flies 25 minutes less than every other day over a 20 day spread?


  3. yeah, daylight savings time and when something occurrs in the “lost hour” they just default to the first hour of the day 01:00.

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