How's this for progress? A recent USA Today analysis finds that air travel is slower today than at any time in the past two decades. Due to gridlock both on the runways and in the airways, planes are moving slower at every phase of the trip. In 2007, the average flight traveled at 342 mph (which includes time spent both flying and taxiing), 16 mph slower than the 1998 average of 358mph. That might not sound like much when talking about traveling over 300mph, but consider that your average trip from Chicago to Phoenix will now take 20 minutes longer, 40 minutes round trip.
And, if we're talking averages, you know that means there are also extremes. For example, the average flight from San Jose to New York Kennedy now takes a whopping 2 hours and 52 minutes longer than it did in 1998. I'd say that's pretty extreme.
So, what are we to do with this information? Unfortunately, there's not much we can do, other than realize it's going to take even longer to get from point A to point B, and plan accordingly. With that in mind, here are some ideas on how to spend that extra "quality time" on board with your family:
- Eat, digest, get hungry again. Repeat.
- Turn the game "20 Questions" into "200 Questions."
- Pack 4 more books, 3 more snacks, and 2 more toys. And an extra set of patience. Or earplugs.
- Watch longer movies on the portable DVD-- think Lord of the Rings Trilogy/ Godfather Trilogy double feature.
- Airsick bag puppet show, anyone?