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bobbinhood's avatar

Why do airlines change their flight schedules so often?

Asked by bobbinhood (5898points) October 9th, 2010

I have noticed that whenever I purchase airline tickets, my itinerary changes, on average, at least once every two weeks. The frequency with which the itinerary changes usually increases significantly as the departure date approaches. However, the flight times rarely change by more than a few minutes in either direction, which makes the changes seem fruitless. Why do airlines do this?

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6 Answers

Austinlad's avatar

Bottom line: their bottom line. Whatever they have to do to put more asses in seats. In today’s tough economy, airlines must constantly jockey for customers whose only loyalty is to the carrier with the best schedule/cheapest ticket.

bobbinhood's avatar

But how does changing a flight by a couple minutes help them get customers? According to your argument, they are actually hurting themselves by not keeping their schedules when customers are looking for the best schedules.

perspicacious's avatar

Well, they can so they do.

YARNLADY's avatar

This February article might help explain part of it. All schedules are dependent on many different, uncontrollable factors.

Ron_C's avatar

There are many reasons including supply and demand, airport traffic, and sometimes seasonal weather patterns. Besides, where would the fun in travel be if all schedules were consistant and there was no variety?

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Ron_C Given my track record, the fun would actually be in getting to my destination on time!

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