Flights Take About an Hour Longer Than They Should—Here's Why

Kelsey Clark

If you find yourself absolutely exhausted after a day of seemingly endless traveling, you're not alone. You're also not crazy; on average, flights actually take longer now than they did 50 years ago, according to an enlightening new video from Business Insider

For a frame of reference, a flight from NYC to Houston currently takes about three hours and 50 minutes. Compare that to the year 1973, when that exact same flight was over an hour shorter; around 2 hours and 40 minutes.

So, why the hold up? You'd think that with all of the technological advancements since the 1970s, we'd be flying faster, not slower. The short answer: fuel efficiency. Given the rise in gas prices over the years, airlines have been intentionally slowing trips in order to save a quick buck. JetBlue airlines, for example, has been saving roughly $13.6 million a year by lengthening each flight by two minutes, according to a 2008 Associated Press study. Simply put, airlines and pilots are burdened by rising gas prices just as much, if not more than, automakers and drivers.

Airlines have also picked up the unseemly habit of padding arrival times in an effort to appear punctual. Next time your pilot joyfully regales the passengers with an early arrival via overhead mic, don't be fooled.

If you're going to be on a plane for half your summer, you might as well travel in style. Shop our favorite accessories below:

Steamline Luggage Editor Carryon ($485)

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