Review of Industrial Organization

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 61–82 | Cite as

Do Airlines Pad Their Schedules?

  • Silke J. Forbes
  • Mara LedermanEmail author
  • Zhe Yuan


We analyze how schedule times, actual flight times and on-time performance have changed in the U.S. airline industry between 1990 and 2016. We find schedule times have increased in most years, with the largest increases after 2008. Actual flight times and total travel times have also increased but by less than schedule times and the gap has grown over time. This has resulted in reduced arrival delays even though flights are, in fact, taking longer to complete. We discuss the implications of these findings for quality provision and information disclosure within the airline industry.


Airlines Information disclosure On-time performance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tufts UniversityMedfordUSA
  2. 2.University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Shanghai University of Finance and EconomicsShanghaiChina

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