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Heathrow - Oz flights

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sddsddean | 21:13 Mon 09th Oct 2006 | Travel
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Nearly all the flights (including the one I'm going on next year) leave in the late evening (10pm - 12am sort of time) and get in to (in my case) Sydney at 6am. Why do they take off and land at such antisocial times? Why not take off at noon and land in the evening? Also, does anyone know what they do about meals on these flights? I just thought that taking off about 1030pm, everyone will almost be ready for a kip; do they serve your gourmet meal not long after take off or wait until, say, 6 hours into the flight?


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Probably to do with runway slot times at Heathrow and I'm not sure, but I think the airport fees for the airlines are cheaper at "off-peak" times. That is why your holiday charter flight times are even worse taking off late at night or 05h00 in the morning!
They'll give you dinner not long after take off and then breakfast before you get to wherever you are refuelling, ie Bangkok or Hong Kong. You will be so tired when you arrive anyway that you won't care if it's morning or afternoon. It takes a day or so to get over, by well worth it. Sydney is absolutely fabulous.
well when you are travelling on such a long flight its better to do so at night so that at least you can try to get a few hours of kip, its easier for them too as they serve dinner soon after takeoff and then dim the cabin lights and disappear until the early hours of the morning for the usually p!$$ poor breakfast they serve.
It is primarily to do with when you need to be taking off and landing during the trip. The evening flight from the UK lands in Asia mid afternoon nexy day local time, and then you can take off again 2 hours later and land when Sydney opens the next morning. A side benefit for the crew is that most people want to sleep on the first leg, and are tired and therefore docile on the second leg.

If you took the UK lunchtime flight, you would land first thing in the morning in Asia, and could then get a flight to Sydney at about 09.00. Thai (via Bangkok) and BA/ Qantas (via Singapore or Bangkok ) do have connecting flights.

80% of the flights take off UK evening time. Having done it too many times, it does fit in better with when you need to be sleeping (and the convenience of wasting less time being awake in the air), which is why most of the evening flights fill up before the daytime flight.
Forgot to mention, your culinary delight will be plonked in front of you within an hour or so. Larget quantities of alcohol will be available if you want to drink quickly, but transiting with a hangover is no fun (although that would give you an excuse to sit out the shopping). You will get breakfast 2 hours before landing.
On the next leg, you will be fed 3 times, you lucky thing you. Immediately, after another 4 hours and then 90 mins before landing.
it may have more to do with curfews. Sydney Airport is not a 24 hour airport and there is a curfew overnight. Aircraft are therefore scheduled to start arriving after 6:00am when the airport awakens. Departure time is calculated backwards to conform.
International Airports usually close between 12am and 6am. This means that you can still hang around the airport but there are no flights between these times. The flight to Sydney is not antisocial, in fact they are more appropriate as you leave before the antisocial hour and arrive after it. Therefore you leave and arrive at the airport it is open and functioning as normal.
so which would you prefer, to leave even later, or arrive even earlier, or just spend a couple of hours flying in circles so you land at a more convenient time? (You may well find yourself doing the latter whether you want to or not.) It's to do with the distance involved and the speeds planes can fly, and there's not much can be done about either of them.
When travelling long haul West to East nearly all flights are evening departures, the opposite is true when traveling East to West (day time departures). This is more to do with landing restrictions at the destination airport than takeoff slots at the departure airport.
As for meals you will get on evening meal a few hours into the flight and a breakfast a couple of hours before landing.
I went from Gatwick at 3pm but went via LA and had to wait there for 5 hours I dont think there is any good time to fly to Oz due to time difference and the jet lag etc

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