Source: adapted from the Wall Street Journal. (JFK - New York, John F. Kennedy; LAX - Los Angeles; ORD - Chicago; ATL - Atlanta; MCO - Orlando). Note: Flights DL1323 and DL6582 are no longer servicing these routes.
Changes in the Duration of Selected Scheduled Flights, 1996-2010 (hours)
The growth and compounding of airport congestion has incited airlines to extend the scheduled duration of many of their flights in order for them to have a higher chance of remaining "on time". Delays are not related with the airborne flight time per se but to ground operations at airport terminals (e.g. gate access, takeoff queues, etc.). For instance, while in 1996 American Airlines Flight 33 between New York and Los Angeles was scheduled to last 6 hours, in 2010 the same flight was scheduled to last 6 hours 36 minutes (same figure in 2015). Thus, in light of growing congestion, airlines are able to maintain partially their "on time" performance by lengthening the duration of their scheduled flights. This process is indicative of a growing space / time divergence since it takes more time to cover the same amount of space.