I’m always amazed by the scheduling departments at airlines. It’s such a ridiculously complex art not only to time flights so that they all match up, but also to make sure you have the specific aircraft type you need available, planning turnaround times, etc. And 99% of the time they do a darn good job.
And then there’s Tampa to Washington Dulles, which fits into the 1%. Back when I first started mileage running eons ago, I remember the 5:50AM flight from Tampa to Washington Dulles. Nothing sucks more than getting up at 3:30AM, but it was always a fun flight. There were never more than 30 passengers aboard on Saturday mornings, which might explain why it was eventually cancelled. I always fly out in the morning, so now I’m used to the 9AM flight, which is still great, because it allows me to sleep in and thanks to the arrival time in Washington of 11AM, it connects to basically any flight.
But as of mid-February United is switching the schedule of this flight. It’ll now depart shortly after 7AM and arrive in Washington shortly after 9AM. Sounds dandy in theory, but it doesn’t connect to ANY flights!!! The next flight to virtually anywhere is shortly after 12PM, a connection I could have made with the old schedule.
It would have made sense for them to have this flight at 6AM so that it could connect to the 9AM bank of flights, but there’s not a single flight to anywhere international, anywhere on the west coast, or hell, anywhere past Denver, within two hours of the arrival time.
So I guess I better get used to twiddling my thumbs at Dulles for a few hours every Saturday morning….