Non-Stop turns into 1-Stop….

I usually enjoy it when the captain of the flight I’m on gets on the intercom and talks about the flight… but there are a few things I don’t like to hear. You know… “bumpy flight ahead, keep the seat belts on.” Or, ” we’re in a holding pattern, we’ll be landing late..”. But, never have I heard the pilot say, ” We’re running low on fuel…”. That right there is something that I don’t think any of us would want to hear, but crazy as it sounds, it’s actually been said a number of times lately. Flights that are originating out of Europe and flying west toward The United States are battling unusually strong headwinds for this time of year. It’s not a hidden fact that winds are typically stronger during the winter months than the summer months, but it just so happens that this year, winds have been much stronger from the west to the east.

United Airlines calculated that the average wind in the last month has been about 50 mph stronger than previous winters, meaning that airplanes flying from west to east are having to burn more fuel to counteract. A process that over a span of hours will lead to noticeably less fuel that diverting becomes necessary. Of the 1100 flights that flew over The Atlantic from Europe, 43 had to divert in the last month because they simply couldn’t make it to their destination.

Of course, added stops leads to missed connections, but the good news, is that the stronger winds that blow from west to east are giving airlines a huge advantage. Turns out witht he added wind in the tail, airplanes are landing way ahead of schedule when traveling from The United States to Europe. Let’s be glad there isn’t a fee yet for landing earlier than normal.



One Response

  1. What were your reaction upon hearing the captain saying that? Did you immediately call everyone and get online to do whatever you can?

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