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“Departing early” becoming more common?

“Departing early” becoming more common?

Old Oct 28, 19, 7:28 am
  #1  
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“Departing early” becoming more common?

Over the last week, I’ve noted most (almost all) of my flights posting as “early” departure by 5 minutes. As I post Monday morning, all of the MSY -ATL departures, even until this evening, as posted with an early departure. Is this a new trend/initiative? I can understand if happening close-in with a light passenger load, but 9 hours out on a flight that probably has a lot of legs before it even gets to the origin? What’s the strategy?
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Old Oct 28, 19, 7:32 am
  #2  
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Same here....I also got a notification to check in 48 hours "early"...so maybe everything is running "early"
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Old Oct 28, 19, 7:47 am
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Not sure on strategy but I've been loving that lately they board late then start yelling at people to sit down because they want to leave early. Like its totally our fault. Very irritating!
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Old Oct 28, 19, 8:19 am
  #4  
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AA & UA do the same thing. No reason not to.

All three require passengers to board domestic flights by T-15. If everyone at the gate by T-15 is boarded, why hang around? Even more the case if the empty seats are filled by standbys right at T-15 and it does not even matter if a late arrival does show up.

At the same time, all three are doing a better job of holding flights for late connections when the stars align, e.g. crew has the time and routing as well as enroute weather means the arrival won't be delayed.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
AA & UA do the same thing. No reason not to.

All three require passengers to board domestic flights by T-15. If everyone at the gate by T-15 is boarded, why hang around? Even more the case if the empty seats are filled by standbys right at T-15 and it does not even matter if a late arrival does show up.

At the same time, all three are doing a better job of holding flights for late connections when the stars align, e.g. crew has the time and routing as well as enroute weather means the arrival won't be delayed.
I think the OP refers to the actual status of the flight on the departure screens and on the Delta App, emails etc. being announced as "early".

I think it's annoying. Also I assume the boarding cut off at T-15 still holds based on the STD so it doesn't really have that much power to move the few late people around. That said, I do imagine that instead of 70% of pax are waiting at the gate by T-30, now 80% are there waiting around, so it does help the efficiency for boarding a bit.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 9:15 am
  #6  
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I got screwed one time when my connecting flight left 10 minutes early. It left without me. Frustrating.
And with the tight turnarounds it is really annoying for them to announce that we need to hurry up, due to their unrealistic scheduling.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 9:30 am
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I was in the ATL A SkyClub on Friday and was told that flights in and out of ATL are being moved up by 5 minutes for flow control due to runway repairs.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by MCI777 View Post
I was in the ATL A SkyClub on Friday and was told that flights in and out of ATL are being moved up by 5 minutes for flow control due to runway repairs.
If they move ALL flights up five minutes, there would be no effect, unless they are trying to add some padding for potential delays.

Most of my flights to ATL that close the door early are held at the gate or tarmac for flow control anyway.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 10:09 am
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Originally Posted by DLdweeb View Post
If they move ALL flights up five minutes, there would be no effect, unless they are trying to add some padding for potential delays.

Most of my flights to ATL that close the door early are held at the gate or tarmac for flow control anyway.
Didn't make a lot of sense to me either, but I suspect they are adding in the extra 5 for potential delays as you noted.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 10:13 am
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DL has been doing this at JFK for years, actually posting a new departure time 5 minutes early......it's extremely annoying to see especially when your inbound has any sort of delay (regionals from DCA etc).
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Old Oct 28, 19, 10:40 am
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Are we going to see MCT stretching by 5 min now in order to accommodate the practice of pulling departures up by 5 min?
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Old Oct 28, 19, 11:04 am
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I had a 5 minute "early" departure the other day. Was a little jarring to see early until I noticed it was only 5 minutes.

So let me ask this, if they leave 5 minutes early, and arrive on time... is this really on time, and fair to count as "on time"? Isn't it 5 minutes late?
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Old Oct 28, 19, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by MCI777 View Post
I was in the ATL A SkyClub on Friday and was told that flights in and out of ATL are being moved up by 5 minutes for flow control due to runway repairs.
On Friday morning I looked at my flights - through ATL - for Saturday, and they were both already showing as 5 minutes early. So what they told you was true in my case - although I agree the logic doesn't make much sense if ALL flights are moved up.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 11:23 am
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This has been going on for years. Going not just for 5, but 15, sometimes even as much as 30, minutes early departure out of NGO, KIX (also was FUK, before DL shut it down).

When DL schedules flights already too early (often 2+ hours earlier than JL, 3-4 hours earlier than D7, flights on the same route) and then departs even earlier, it sure makes it inconvenient. Even when you arrive with plenty of time to spare, it's a rush to get to the gate as they want to close it 30 minutes before scheduled departure time. It also means check-in desk closes earlier, as the staff from there go to the gate early, so it's very important to do OLCI.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 11:51 am
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All of my flights (10) over the last 2 weeks have posted the "Early". While the door did close early on a few of those, only 1 pushed back early (and it sat on the tarmac due to flow control into ATL).

None of those flights began boarding until 5-10 minutes after the original boarding time. T-35 (original) seems to have been the norm for starting boarding on almost all my flights for the last year. Very few actually beginning boarding at T-40. And, unless we were late due to late inbound; missing crew or late catering-none of those flights pushed later than scheduled.

Perhaps I've just been unlucky at how this is being executed. But, at least so far, I am not seeing a real reason for this new "early" boarding.
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