Bright Stove

Reflecting information risk journey

Flight delayed, arrival nearly on schedule

with 2 comments

I had my second trip to our Shanghai office and engineering center this week. Unlike the previous trip last month, the weather was fine most of the days–truly a feeling of the spring season. As usual, the flights between Beijing and Shanghai are always crowded, even though they have in general one flight taking off at every 15 minutes interval. The enroute flight to Shanghai was almost on time, but the return flight was delayed for more than an hour. The flight, however, landed in Beijing only 20 minutes later than scheduled. I was amazed. How was this possible?

While the actual time for the plane to fly from Shanghai to Beijing (according to a pilot friend) is one hour and 45 minutes, the published schedule was two hours and 20 minutes. Effectively, the airline has 35 minutes lag time for execution. Whether this is due to poor planning, or deliberate provision to manage the frequent flight delays, the extra time was working to the benefit of the airline. The flight that I boarded at the Shanghai airport was also not actually the original scheduled flight. Knowing that the flight will be delayed (since arrival has been delayed), the check-in staff voluntarily placed me on an earlier flight (which still had seats available) which was already delayed for an hour at that time. This flexibility was much needed and most welcomed on a Friday evening’s flight home. With the initiative of the ground staff, and the extra time placed in the schedule, I therefore arrived at Beijing airport only 20 minutes later than scheduled. Maybe the pilot was also stepping on the accelerator throughout the journey. Anyway, this has resulted in many happy customers, including me. The episode perhaps showed what the management gurus meant by setting low expectations to provide more opportunities for success, and achieve higher customers satisfaction when the expectations are met or exceeded. By the way, this was the China Eastern Airline, not Air China as well.

Written by mengchow

March 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Posted in Travel

2 Responses

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  1. i like this: "the pilot was also stepping on the accelerator". did you feel the aircraft become supersonic? 🙂



    March 27, 2009 at 5:43 am

  2. I guess that explains for the "turbulence" along the way 😉



    March 28, 2009 at 12:01 am

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