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West to East

Nakhon Si...
Level Contributor
972 posts
8 reviews
West to East

Has anyone else noticed that west to east flights seem to be taking longer recently.

My old commute of LHR to BKK is now showing as taking 11.5 hours, an hour longer than previously for example.

11 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
558 posts
80 reviews
1. Re: West to East

Possibly something to do with the UK currently being on Greenwich Mean Time rather than British Summer Time, perhaps?

It'll probably revert to 10.5 hours after the end of March when BST kicks in again...

Altamonte Springs...
Destination Expert
for St. Augustine
Level Contributor
19,181 posts
41 reviews
2. Re: West to East

It must be due to headwinds.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
1,491 posts
83 reviews
3. Re: West to East

There was a recent article that some US westbound flights actually have to stop to refuel because of unusually high headwinds. That would mean that east bound flights are arriving much earlier than expected for the same reason.

Edited: 21 February 2018, 05:41
Pacifica, California
Destination Expert
for Pacifica
Level Contributor
11,442 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: West to East

Does it list the flight time as 11.5 hours, or are you subtracting start time from end time? in the latter case, I suppose Simon B's suggestion is as good as any.

I know the global climate is changing, but it's not changing so drastically that airlines suddenly need to add an hour for headwinds.

Level Contributor
1,831 posts
5. Re: West to East

"Does it list the flight time as 11.5 hours, or are you subtracting start time from end time? "

No, OP means flight duration (which is about 11.5 for LHR-BKK give or take). Time zones are irrelevant.

Also, hard to say without evidence of what the flights used to be, but LAX-MUC is almost the same distance and about the same flight times eastbound on LH, so doesn't seem at all out of the ordinary.

Edited: 21 February 2018, 07:32
Washington DC...
Level Contributor
1,491 posts
83 reviews
6. Re: West to East

I assume this could easily apply to European flights also and make eastbound flights faster.


Washington DC...
Level Contributor
1,491 posts
83 reviews
7. Re: West to East

See https:/…

North Shields...
Level Contributor
1,428 posts
156 reviews
8. Re: West to East

It may be due to the jet stream. I flew LHR to EWR on 8 February and about 90 minutes into the flight we hit turbulence. This continued for most of the flight and was very rough at times. The pilot explained we were flying against the jet stream and that this had been a problem for several days. It added just over an hour to our flight time. On our return flight on 16 February we had the jet stream behind us and knocked an hour off our flight.

Dubai, United Arab...
Level Contributor
11,064 posts
26 reviews
9. Re: West to East

<<LHR to BKK is now showing as taking 11.5 hours>>

Firstly, Thailand does not observe DST while in the UK DST will start on 25th March. Hence the time difference between the UK and Thailand will decrease by one hour. Obviously that will not impact on the flying time.

In general, an airline will try to benefit from the jet streams will flying east bound and will avoid the jet streams and follow the great circle route west bound.

But jet streams are not fixed. Cold air (low pressure systems) from the north will push the jet streams south and hot air from the south will push it to the north.

You can see the actual jet streams here: https:/…540

And here is a good website to see the optimal route without jet streams: http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=LHR-BKK

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
1,224 posts
10. Re: West to East

DST should already be considered when the airline calculated the flight duration.

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