BA837 [DUB-LHR] time keeping

Old Nov 7, 19, 5:14 pm
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BA837 [DUB-LHR] time keeping

I am a frequent flier from BHD to LHR and we all know that extra time is added to flight schedules so they can say that they are on time, or even early, when the reality is that they're 55 minute flight (plus taxiing at both ends) is less than what is advertised.
As for most local flights they mostly run on time which is what I would expect for those from Dublin.

In a few days (Wednesday 13th November) we will be flying the BA837 DUB to LHR as the first leg of trip to HKG (BA took over what was originally a CX direct flight to HKG as I have mentioned in a previous post).
The connection is 70 minutes so I thought I would look to see how punctual it was.

I'm surprised that in 11 days it's twice been almost an hour late and twice about a quarter of an hour. Is this a route that tends to be more late than on time?
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Old Nov 7, 19, 6:43 pm
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Schedules are not padded. They are set to take into account routine phenomena such as air traffic control, ground congestion, weather, and wind shifts just to name a few.

On the other hand, aircraft are expensive toys and scheduling block times for too long costs an awful lot of money across a day, week, month or year.

I always wonder what people expect in the real world. That the cabin door closes and the aircraft magically floats to FL40 in 30 seconds?
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Old Nov 7, 19, 8:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Schedules are not padded.
Having worked in the industry, you're pretty naive if you believe that there's no padding.
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Old Nov 7, 19, 11:17 pm
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I have had many occasions flying DUB to LHR where it's arrived late, whether from taking off late or having to circle too many times before being allowed to land at LHR. I would be extremely nervous of a 70 minute connection. If I were you, I'd see if I could switch to an earlier flight out of DUB.
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Old Nov 7, 19, 11:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Stormbel View Post
I'm surprised that in 11 days it's twice been almost an hour late and twice about a quarter of an hour. Is this a route that tends to be more late than on time?
Throwing a bit more data at it, using 54 flights recorded by ExpertFlyer.

On 74% of flights it was on time or under 15 minutes late. So 40 out of 54. Another 7 flights were between 15 and 30 minutes late (so you would probably just about make the connection).

2 flights where cancelled, presumably around the strikes, one flight was 30-45 minutes late, another 4 flights were over 45 minutes late, the longest delay one-off was 1 hr 7minutes. The average delay of flights that were delayed was 19 minutes. So 5 to 7 flights out of 54 would lead to you missing the connection (depending on your point of view and advance information level)

DUB, LHR and the flight areas between are all congested, and that manifests itself more on afternoon / evening services as it is very difficult to catchup on time as the day progresses. Both airports have weather exposures of various types.

So yes, the timekeeping isn't particularly good, but nevertheless you would have about an 85% or greater chance of making the connection, it's up to each traveller as to whether that is OK or not, bearing in mind 100% is effectively impossible. I would be comfortable with this, so long as the sky wouldn't fall in if I ended up on the next HKG service. But we are all different, and we all manage risk differently.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 12:21 am
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DUB is a bit of a mess at busy times - until they get the new runway opened in a year or so (?) ... it doesn't take much for it to get as overloaded as Heathrow - BA's short haul punctuality isn't great in general ( mainly Heathrow's fault ) , and this is an afternoon flight and delays always tend to accumulate during the day .. November isn't a bad month for congestion as there's less flights than in peak season, but on the other hand it is more prone to fog or storms ... so there's plenty of reasons why it could go wrong ...

As CWS mentions above you'll probably be fine , but if you're not there's a later BA flight to HKG anyway so you'd likely just be rebooked onto that ( or a Cathay service ) so unless it's an easy change to another flight I wouldn't bother worrying about it too much just roll with it ... If you can get changed to an earlier flight Aer Lingus tends to be more punctual on the DUB-LHR route than BA in my experience ( but then you've a more awkward T2-T5 connection at Heathrow )
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Old Nov 8, 19, 6:16 am
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Thanks all. Interesting info c-w-s.
The earlier flight isn't feasible due to committments in Belfast before we travel.
It appears that there's good availability in J on the next ba flight to HKG so no worries about that. CX would be ideal as that's the airline we initially booked with before they cancelled the direct flight from DUB.There's no problem with a couple of hours delay and there will be many flights onward to TPE from HKG. Would that be arranged by ba or on arrival at HKG? We don't want to collect luggage until TPE.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Stormbel View Post
and there will be many flights onward to TPE from HKG. Would that be arranged by ba or on arrival at HKG? We don't want to collect luggage until TPE.
If you don't make the HKG flight then BA should rebook both the replacement service to Hong Kong and the onward sector to TPE at the same time, and indeed retag the bags for the replacement services. You will know if you are ok for the original sector since if you clear the e-gates at UK Flight Connections (so don't go landside....) then all will be well. If you are late and the e-gate declines to let you through then the Flight Connection Desk on the left of the e-gates will resolve this. If there is a very long queue in front of that desk then go landside to departures Zone A or E (or First Wing for those eligible).
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Old Nov 14, 19, 12:39 am
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The flight left DUB on time, arrived 10 minutes early at LHR but the departing flight from our gate left late. To complicate matters another aircraft blocked our route to the gate when it was free! Eventually we disembarked at 17:45 but we're allowed through to flight connections.
Fast track security was speedy as everywhere was quiet and we used the passageway to get to our B gate.
We managed disembarking to boarding in 25 minutes but in a near state of collapse!
In HKG The Pier and hoping that our luggage made the journey too.
Pity that, unseasonably, the weather in TPE is expected to be dreadful from Sunday onwards!
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Old Nov 14, 19, 1:02 am
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Just to give the actual timings here so that others can see the point you are making.

So DUB-LHR scheduled was 15:50 departure, actual was 15:44. Scheduled arrival was 17:15, actual was 17:38 chocs on, so I'd normally expect the door to open at 17:41 and it could take a couple of minutes to get to the airbridge. You landed at 16:46 so that is a monster long time to get to a gate in yesterday's near perfect weather conditions. The earlier DUB-LHR BA835 service needed just 9 minutes to get to the gate whereas it took you 52 minutes.

HKG scheduled to depart 18:25 and did depart 18:27, giving a T5A gate 23 to T5B, gate 45, connection of 40 minutes (17:45 to 18:25). You were on the edge of conformance (no more than 35 minutes) but equally you probably realistically had another 5 minutes excess time in your real world timings. After that point then the HKG would risk running late. So conformance is pretty close to what is realistic.

DUB has to use particular gates due to the Common Travel Arrangement so while you were a bit unlucky with the bed-blocker, it is a risk there.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 4:24 am
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Arrival times - scheduled in blocks vs actual in blocks since 1 Oct 2019.
Sample size: 41
Earliest arrival is 24 minutes before schedule. Latest is 74 minutes after schedule.
Mode (most often) is 10 minutes before schedule. Average is 4.8 minutes after schedule.

Chart attached shows the distribution of actual in blocks vs scheduled in blocks times, showing that there is a tendency towards an earlier arrival.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 4:37 am
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I'm on the same flight from DUB on the 20th December, 15:30 Scheduled Departure Time, my connection is on to KUL which is scheduled for 19:05. Barring any monumental cock-up's along the way, I should have plenty of time.

Would much rather have been flying out of BHD but the price difference was at least a couple of grand
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Old Nov 15, 19, 8:07 am
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Thanks c-w-s for clarifying.
The luggage DID make it!
As mentioned the taxes and fees difference between BHD and DUB was huge so there really was no choice.
I would not have chosen such a fine transit time but CX cancelling the route gave us no choice.
At least I persuaded ba to change the return flight to BHD as it would have been 4 hours later than originally into DUB and have made me late for a meeting!
My persuasive powers also got us 30k back in Avios!
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