Questions tagged [airline-operations]

Refers to questions asking about airline practices, procedures, and processes both in the employment arena and in flight.

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44
votes
8answers
72k views

Why do flight times differ between traveling East versus traveling West?

Why does it take longer to fly West to East than East to West? Which factors affect this? Does Earth's spinning affect the time difference? Maybe the air circulation?
46
votes
3answers
56k views

Are cargo holds pressurised these days?

This question is only regarding aircraft that seat more than about 100 people. Are cargo holds pressurised these days, what is the situation? Are only some pressurized, most, of every single one? ...
44
votes
2answers
35k views

What's the typical cost (and its breakdown) for a long-haul commercial flight?

I realised that this question is very broad, but I intend it as an example to illustrate the actual costs incurred by a typical long-haul commercial flight. For the purpose of this question, I would ...
103
votes
2answers
21k views

Why do airlines follow these routes between Barcelona and Düsseldorf?

In the wake of GermanWings' terrible incident of flight 9525, I have noticed that the crash location is quite far from the shortest route connecting the two airports. I then went on FlightRadar24's ...
50
votes
9answers
8k views

Could airliners use a steam or electric powered catapult for take-off?

This would have the obvious benefits: Less runway needed to take-off Fuel savings Faster turn around times for airlines Could this be implemented in busy airports?
36
votes
1answer
3k views

How are duplicate call signs dealt with?

Many airlines (at least here in the U.S.) have flight numbers that use different aircraft for different legs of the flight. For example, Delta 158 uses a 747-400 from Incheon International in Seoul to ...
14
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5answers
3k views

How do larger aircraft compensate for reduced visibility from the cockpit, e.g. less visibility of the rear of the aircraft?

In smaller planes, pilots has apparently great visibility in front, on the sides and a good portion of the rear of the plane. But as the plane's size is increased, the visibility is also reduced. One ...
25
votes
5answers
9k views

Are passengers really not allowed to change seats before take-off due to weight and balance?

Just boarded an A320 with many open seats (Spirit), and the flight attendant said we may not change seats until at altitude due to weight and balance. Is he just trying to prevent pax from moving ...
25
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2answers
9k views

Are there diversion points for southern Pacific great circle route flights?

At first I wasn't even sure if any airlines flew southern Pacific great circle route flights, but it looks like Qantas (QFA27) operates a flight between Sydney and Santiago, Chile. For northern ...
15
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1answer
3k views

Why can't Norwegian's Boeing 787 operate from Vegas during hot weather?

In a German news article it was stated that the additional weight (Norwegian puts 291 passengers on their 787-8) leads to operations restrictions in Las Vegas when temperature conditions exceed 40°C. ...
17
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1answer
2k views

What happens if a passenger dies mid-flight?

Last month (December 2014), there were news that a passenger passed away during a flight. As mentioned in this answer, it appears that it is not a very uncommon scenario. In an unfortunate incident ...
20
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10answers
6k views

Why 1st and 2nd class but not fast or slow airplanes?

Why do airlines separate passengers into 1st and 2nd class but do not offer fast or slow connections? Isn't the biggest cost the kerosene? And isn't the cost directly proportional to speed?
37
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3answers
136k views

What is common number of flight hours a year for an airline pilot?

Reading various reports including number of flight hours of the pilots I always wonder how it relates to years of service. In most professions, people work 40 hours a week, which gives around 1900 ...
31
votes
4answers
36k views

Why does an airplane captain sit in the left seat?

For almost every airline, the captain sits in the left seat, and the first officer on the right. We know that in most countries right-side traffic and some have left-side. During training, the ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the benefits of long-haul airplanes servicing regional routes?

Following this answer. This is actually a set of three different questions: How often airlines "wastes" money, by putting long-hauls (widebody aircrafts) on regional or domestic routes? Are there any ...
13
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1answer
5k views

What is a “high-bypass geared turbofan,” and why is it so much more efficient?

According to the article Bombardier’s CSeries Gamble Is Facing Longer Odds, this new plane from Bombardier uses a new engine technology that will improve efficiency over its rival 737 series and A320 ...
3
votes
3answers
804 views

How do pilots decide whether to circumnavigate bad weather?

How does an airline pilot decide in the air whether to circumnavigate or fly through bad weather visibly looming ahead and/or displayed on the weather radar ?
36
votes
5answers
6k views

How does an airliner deal with cabin altitude at an airport above 8000 ft?

There are a number of airports above 8000 ft altitude. FAR 25.841 states: Pressurized cabins and compartments to be occupied must be equipped to provide a cabin pressure altitude of not more than ...
30
votes
3answers
20k views

Why don't airliners use in-air refueling systems?

Right now if an airliner wants to fly a really long distance (eg., a Boeing 787 flying from Seattle to Tokyo), it has to load itself down with lots and lots of fuel, which in turn weighs thousands and ...
19
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3answers
2k views

How unique are waypoint names supposed to be?

I had thought that someone such as ICAO was coordinating the assignment of five-letter waypoint names such that they were globally unique. Now I notice that OpenNav knows three different waypoints ...
32
votes
2answers
9k views

How do pilots rest on long-haul flights?

When flying on a long-haul airliner flight in economy, often I find it very hard to fall asleep. However, when off cockpit duties, they still have to get rest so that they are able to control the ...
25
votes
2answers
16k views

Is it true that the pilot and co-pilot are required to eat different meals?

I was watching a documentary about a Lufthansa A380, and they said that the pilot and co-pilot are required to eat different meals; why is that? Is it a country-specific requirement, or airline-...
24
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6answers
26k views

How much does it cost to give an airliner a fresh coat of paint?

Just a random thought I had: the weather gives a jet's paint job a battering; meaning they need to be resprayed approximately once every 5-10 years. (See How often is a passenger jet aircraft painted?)...
13
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1answer
2k views

What are the practical impacts of airports in the US being mostly IATA Level 2?

IATA classifies airports using levels, which determine how slots are allocated. Source Definitions of levels by IATA, from Slot Coordination Switzerland: Level 1: airports where the capacity of ...
35
votes
6answers
10k views

How can an airliner make up for time lost?

If a plane has been delayed at the origin how does it make up for the lost time? Does the pilot need any special permission from ATC to increase the speed so that it can cover the lost time or has the ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

Are rolling takeoffs now more common than powering up while holding on the brakes?

I remember back in the 90's that commercial planes would line up on the runway, stop, apply full power and then release the brake to take off. Now I've been on flight where they've literally rolled ...
11
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2answers
16k views

What is the ratio between time in the air and time on ground for an aircraft?

I suppose it may be different from an airline to another. Given the maintenance, the time to load/unload the aircraft, the time the aircraft is grounded because there is no flight scheduled (e.g. at ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the maximum amount of flight hours an aircraft can have a month?

The reason I ask this question is because I am a programmer and developing ETL processes to calculate reliability of products that are installed in aircrafts. I have been getting A lot of bad data ...
12
votes
1answer
980 views

Does pilot monitoring have authority to go around in exceptional circumstances?

Let's say the captain is acting as the pilot flying(PF) and the first officer the pilot monitoring(PM) in a commercial jet. They are shooting an ILS to their destination airport but the approach is so ...
18
votes
1answer
17k views

Why do entertainment system headphones on aircraft have two pins?

In most commercial flights where headphones are provided for inflight entertainment they have two pins, unlike single pin connections which we use on the ground (e.g. for mobile phones). Is there a ...
15
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2answers
9k views

Is it allowed to listen to music while piloting a plane?

When I'm driving my car, I almost always put some music on. It's really relaxing for me. I know that piloting a plane is nothing like driving a car, but it would be great, at least for me, to listen ...
8
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1answer
3k views

What is the correct crew procedure for an unreliable airspeed alert?

When the crew receives "airspeed disagree" message on the primary flight displays, they may face some hazardous situation. Is there any procedure, using a table containing pitch, power, altitude and ...
5
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2answers
3k views

Does ATC direct flights to fly eastbound at odd levels and westbound at even ones?

Do commercial airlines routinely travel at altitudes specified by the ATC based on the direction they are heading? Example: eastbound flights travel at odd levels and westbound flights travel at even ...
4
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2answers
1k views

When does the airline check if an airplane can reach its destination?

It is known that - for example - LaMia Airlines Flight 2933 needed to travel 1,605 nautical miles (2,972 km), which exceeds the range of the Avro RJ85 at 1,600 nautical miles (2,963 km). At what point ...
50
votes
6answers
15k views

Why was my flight cancelled due to bad weather while other flights were not?

I'm stuck in Frankfurt. I missed my connection due to a delay. I was rebooked, but this new flight was also cancelled due to bad weather. About 30 percent of all flights were cancelled today. ...
22
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5answers
24k views

How long does it take to refuel a big jumbo jet?

How long does it take to refuel a big jumbo jet? And what about a smaller A320. I'm talking in terms of time.
37
votes
5answers
10k views

Why are commercial airplanes painted at all?

While there was debate over why airplanes are painted white and a question about how much a new paint job costed, what hasn't been asked is why airplanes are painted at all. I remember one airline ...
29
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3answers
5k views

When are black boxes used?

Obviously, black boxes gather lots of media attention after tragic accidents where planes crash or explode mid-flight, since they could be crucial understanding the crash. However, these are rather ...
16
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2answers
33k views

What are the basics of flying non-revenue?

I've never worked for an airline, but I know that one of the benefits of working in the industry is that you can fly for free or almost free on a space-available basis. I realize that every airline ...
21
votes
3answers
5k views

Who decides how fast commercial aircraft fly: the pilots or ATC?

Once a commercial aircraft is in the cruise phase, who determines the speed of the aircraft? Do pilots have the authority to fly at up to the maximum permissible speed of that plane, or does ATC ...
16
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1answer
2k views

When buying airliners what is the difference between “orders”, “options” and “purchase rights”?

I've often seen announcements by aircraft manufacturers or operators along these lines "Qantas announced today that they will buy 10 A380's and have taken options on another 10". What does it mean to ...
7
votes
1answer
602 views

Are two twin-jet flights more efficient than one quad-jet flight?

Ignoring for this question the issue of flexibility for the airline, would it be more (fuel, cost) efficient to have a single flight with a 4 engine plane than to have two flights with 2 engine planes....
26
votes
1answer
2k views

Are airline pilots worn out at an age of 55?

Lufthansa's pilot union is calling for a strike to defend pilot's right to retire at the age of 55. They argue that the stressful job of flying is too much for older people. This provokes two ...
19
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3answers
2k views

Was smoking banned because of passenger safety or occupational safety?

Federal regulation CFR 252.3 notes that: Air carriers shall prohibit smoking on all scheduled passenger flights. Was this because of: 1) passenger safety concerns (the airplane may catch on fire ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Why fewer operations on weekends?

Why are there fewer air carrier operations on weekends? Looking at PHX data, we have the following annual trend that clearly shows a weekly drop of about 8% on weekends: and when I average the data a ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How do pilots and controllers deal with TFR's that lie directly on an approach?

FDC Notam 4/3621 creates a generic "template" TFR which sits on top of sporting events. This one in Phonenix appears to sit right on one of the business ends of Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) The Notam ...
10
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2answers
3k views

Do crew need visas when landing at airports in countries other than their own?

If the crew never leave the plane, have they really entered the foreign country? What about if the crew leaves the plane, but not the airport? How do crews of international flights keep up with all of ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How much compensation does an unruly passenger have to pay to an airline if the flight has to be diverted to remove them?

If a passenger becomes unruly and the captain decides to land and remove that passenger from the flight, how much does the passenger have to pay the airline for the cost? In addition, what are the ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

What if there are no volunteers to sit in the emergency exit row?

I'm currently seated in the emergency exit row, and had an interesting thought. If I was unable or unwilling to assist the crew in an emergency and operate the emergency exit, then I am supposed to ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Why not tow aircraft instead of single-engine taxi?

To save costs, budget airlines could potentially eliminate the single-engine taxi that is standard. Companies are looking into things like electric motors on the wheels of airliners for taxi, which ...