Slow planes or was it slow coach?

It’s sure interesting to know that perhaps our aircraft journeys have lengthened. If this article is to be believed, we now take a longer time to get to our destinations. Did you notice that too? Or is this just a figment of imagination?

Actually we noticed something too.

HND to NRT.jpg
Would it take 30 minutes to fly 73km? LOL

A few years ago, the company that Mel worked for had a corporate policy of flying coach for flights 7 hours or less. Scouring the flight schedules, it was found that a SIN/NRT flight takes 7 hours and 5 minutes. The alternative SIN/HND flight on the other hand was 6 hours 30 minutes. Having to visit Japan rather frequently, he chose the Narita flight…heheh. But a difference of 30 minutes between the two airports?

Now either the plane to Narita was much slooower, or the one to Haneda flew faster. Or perhaps they both were slower? If you had read the article above, you would have realize that the reason for ‘slower’ flights could stem from the urge by airlines to save on fuel costs. Recall that oil prices spiked up close to US$150/barrel in July 2008?

Like driving a car, it does not mean that getting into the top speed will mean the maximal use of the gearbox. If one were to google for fuel efficiency, you’d find that 55mph (90kmh) is prescribed as the optimal. In fact driving faster leads to a drop in fuel efficiency. Guess this applies to airplanes too right? Afterall, airlines are for profit organizations. They’d do anything to fill up the plane and drive fly it more economically.

A funny story

Some years ago, Mel & Suan went on a journey to Hokkaido. We were waiting at the boarding gate for a domestic flight to Sapporo from Tokyo. Boarding annoucement (first in Japanese, then later in English): “Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to start boarding. Prior to boarding, may we ask that you take use of the airport’s restroom facilities.” – weight, that could be what they are trying to reduce! Saves fuel you know if the airplane is lighter you know…heheh.

Anyway. Mel’s mom used to call out to him ‘hey slow coach, catch up!’ (Mel’s not a tomato btw), while on hikes when he was little. Was Mel a slow coach? No. He was just walking at the optimal speed using the least amount of effort and energy.

Did you notice your plane turning into a slow coach? Tell us!


Author: Mel & Suan

Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!

9 thoughts on “Slow planes or was it slow coach?”

  1. Also another thing that makes trips, as opposed to individual flights, longer is a consolidation of timetables meaning more time consuming connections than in the past. For example, I have just returned from Lombok, Indonesia to Canberra, Australia. Poorer than previous connections between Sydney and Bali meant we had to fly via Jakarta adding and extra 2hrs each way to our trip. Very frustrating flying over Lombok and continuing on to Jakarta – 2hrs just to fly back after a 3 hr wait in Jakarta. Not being able to fly direct (or via former shorter routes) to places is becoming increasing prevalent here in Australia. Of course putting up with a few hours extra travel time (avoiding busy hubs) sometimes results in a significant cost savings so its a balancing act for both the airline and the passenger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, commercial airliners need to make money too! If not, its simply not worth keeping the service. On the other hand, they too want to keep cost low where they do have the service – so using less fuel is definitely one consideration!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Clever Mel for choosing the longer flight. 🙂

    I can’t say about the flight duration as I don’t fly often.

    However, in general, it is true that driving faster drops the fuel economy. Traffic (stop and go), too. I know… I spend about R 1,000 (supposedly good for slightly over 600km, on open road I suppose) for 5 days of home-school-work and back (just about 40km a day with city driving) with the Porsche Cayenne. Of course, it’s cheaper with the Polo Vivo GT. Haha! But then again, if your car can drive fast, especially at pull away and you can leave the other cars “eating dust”, why not. Lol! Fortunately, the playing field is leveled in traffic jams.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! I can imagine. Luckily they have no stop and go, too. Just waiting for take off and landing. That aviation fuel is darned expensive. I remember when I had to organize the forex for the pilot before we got the aviation card. My ex boss used to say it was still more economical for him than waste time waiting for commercial flights. I guess… 😂😝

        Liked by 1 person

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