About a decade ago, Joe Nolan, a semi-retired electrical engineer from Palm Desert, could expect to hop on a flight at Palm Springs International Airport and arrive in San Francisco 55 minutes later.
Now the flight is usually scheduled for about 90 minutes. Nolan suspects that airlines are allotting more time for each flight to make it easier to meet their arrival schedule.
“It tells me that the on-time statistics are worthless,” he said.
Nolan might have a point. A study by a British company that collects and analyzes travel data concluded that airlines around the globe have been padding their flight schedules for nearly 20 years.
In the U.S.,...