Can flight times change as time goes on?

I know weather plays a huge part in aviation but without weather would it still effect flights? Here’s an example:

Back in August of 2023 I flew from Los Angeles to Orlando and it took us 5hrs 44mins to get there with clear skies. Boeing 737 MAX9

In August of 2022 I flew from Los Angeles to Orlando and it took 4hrs 52mins to get there with clear skies. Boeing 737-900ER

Is that even possible? I know there’s different aircrafts, altitudes and speeds.

Another example:

My mom recently just flew from Los Angeles to Charlotte and it took her almost 7!! hours. 7!!! Airbus A321nx

So as time goes on can it effect flight times?


It’s highly dependent on wind.


The weather up at altitude is one of the main factors in how long a flight takes from point A to point B. During the winter time in the US, flights going westbound face a heavier headwind then they do during the summer time which means slower ground speed and longer flight time. Vice versa, flights going eastbound during the winter usually take a little less time due to the strong tailwind that’s pushing them along.

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You know your average JFK-LHR flight that takes about 7 hours or so? Well…

And a Virgin A350 did that same flight on the same day and took only one minute more than that 747.


It’s the jetsstreams ( blowing east ) which usually slows down westbound flights

How slow was the plane going? It’s an eastbound flight so they should’ve gotten help from the jetstream


Not too sure. But it definitely surprised me and especially my mom.


I have a hard time believing LAX-CLT took 7 hours considering the average flight time is right about 4 hours

I don’t think, especially going eastbound, that there would be that much of a shift in winds


So I replayed the flight and realized i had made an error. Flight left LAX at 12pm PST and arrived at CLT at 7pm EST.

Maybe routing played a role in it?

timezones can be crazy sometimes


Also looks like there was an error with FR24 too.

When I had clicked on the flight it said “departed 7 hours ago.”

Time zones are annoying to work with sometimes just know if flying to the east coast it’s your flight time plus 3 for the time change and flying back its your flight time minus 3!

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I experienced this today because I flew from LHR-MIA which is normally 9:30 - 9:45 hours but my flight time was 9:06 hours. Maybe it’s cos I took a more southerly route because I was comparing the last couple of routes BA took and they went back into the southerly route rather than flying over Canada and across the East Coast

Absolutely. Weather (winds, buildups, turbulence vectors (as a result chasing directions and altitudes), requesting “shortcuts” along your route( an L shape or zigzag route I will ask for the next direct fix) at times I have seen that shave 10-12 mins off. Factor in winds it’s even more for a transcon route. The route you have by example can have active MOAs so sometimes you can cut through and other times they will take you to another fix off your route.

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Looked like this:

It’s crazy that KBOS-EGLL has a shorter flight time than KBOS-KSFO


That’s a glitch in flight radar

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That was a four hour flight. It departed 11 hrs ago and arrived 7 hrs ago

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