How do you know if your flight will really take as long as it says?

Hello everyone! I’m here today with a quick question. I use FPLtoIF to get my route and numbers for the flight that I am going to do. But it always seems that it is not going to be as long as it says. The other night I was doing a flight from UUEE to VHHH. The estimated time was 8:25. When I took off and was up too cruise it was showing the i would not be in the air for that long, so I thought that I was going to overshoot. But I woke up and wasn’t even at VNAV yet and when I landed, my flight time was 8:25 on the dot. This makes me ask the question.How do you know your flight is really going to be as long as it says. Also, how do I know for sure that when I go to bed that my alarm will be set too late?

Thank you!


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There really is no way of exactly knowing as winds can change very quickly making your flight significantly longer or shorter.


Well even if the winds change, you wait until your at cruise and look at the ETA. Take that amount of time and wake up 45 minutes before that time in order to prepare for decent. It’s been working for me, it helps with your flight being delayed from wind and also keeps you safe in case you arrive earlier.


Also what can be done is Checking the Winds at the Flight level thats planned for the flight so if you then see oh i will have strong tailwinds then you can decide to wake up earlier if you see you are getting cakm wind or other directions you can have it in mind

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Yes, but 45 minutes prepares for both either way.


Yeah most times it is.

I had it once there was my tail wind that strong i arrived 2 hrs earlier than planned good thing was that i was in Home Office 😂


Reasons why I don’t do long hauls lol


The flight time provided by FpltoIF is pretty accurate mostly. If you reached cruise and IF is telling you a different time than FpltoIF the reason behind this is, that IF calculates your flight time with the current wind conditions. And those can change a lot during your flight (especially during long hauls). FpltoIF seems to calculate with the winds on the whole route, so thats why this time is more precise usually. And if you´re still unsure have a look at Flightradar and look up how long the flight takes in real life.

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Generally using Simbrief via IF is about 95% accurate, I do short and long hauls daily. Usually when following the suggested speeds you’ll be within 5-10 minutes of the estimated time max, although very rarely can the winds dramatically change as much to completely change your flight time by longer periods of time.

Estimated times can be changed by several different variables, such as the altitude you are at, your speed, and of course, the winds.

I wouldn’t trust the ETA system in game as it only estimates based on your windspeeds at that current time, and is only really used by me for when I am below an hour from descent (eg. set a timer and focus on other things until the timer goes off).

Unfortunately there can just be the rare occurrence, but for someone who has a 1 hour window of waking up and getting out the door plus descent, landing, and getting to the gate, I’d say fpltoif is almost always pretty accurate when followed.


so much easier to grind that short hauls tho…

Long hauls may be more beneficial. But in the end, as long as I have access to the Expert Server, why would I need to rank up further?

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you also just get more satisfaction landing a long flight then a shorter.
just preference is what it comes down to

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