The single most important piece of information that you must have when booking a flight is the flight times. They are very important for your safety and for others on board. If the flight times are not posted appropriately on your ticket or at least prominently displayed where everyone can see them, you will be greatly disappointed. The reason is simple. They determine the flight routing, which affects the price of the ticket.
The most common reason that passengers fail to reach their destinations is due to they mistakenly misunderstood the flight times on their initial itinerary. Every airline does their very own thing when it comes to the way the flight times are to be written on the passenger’s Itinerary, whether in military/military/or civilian clock notation. For example, if you are departing from a major hub like London, you would see the departure airport is called “Lancaster” on your itinerary. When you arrive at your destination, you will see the airport is called “Bournemouth”. This is the same with all major hubs except for those in the Pacific Northwest.
The reason the flight times are on your itinerary is so you know exactly when you can expect to arrive at your destination. If you arrived late at night and by the time the next flight leaves you will still be behind the scheduled time. In this case, you would not be able to fly out and catch your connecting flight. This is why the local times are different for all airlines.
Another reason some people fail to follow flight times is because of incorrect departure time calculations. Many airlines have what is called an “Orientated Transfer” where they tell you how long you are to wait in the departure lounge before boarding. Now suppose you get there two hours early and you know you are going to be boarding two hours and twenty minutes later. That means you multiply two hours (your start time) by twenty minutes (the length of the drive to the gate). This is a lot of extra time!
What most people don’t realize is that the flight times given to you are based on the best available flight duration for the date you are traveling. The longer the flight duration, the cheaper it is. However, this doesn’t mean that there is no sense in taking a longer flight when it is possible to do so. The important thing is to consider the airline’s minimum required flight duration for the date of your travel. This will allow you to have the most economical trip.
The good news is that all the major airlines are set up to make changes to flight arrival times. They publish new flight arrival times frequently on their websites. If you have an email address you can also check these dates and book your flight earlier than normal. Unfortunately, not every airline has online flight availability. You may have to call or check with your travel agent to find out if you can get a seat. If you can, the savings you will make on your ticket will make the wait worth it!