Directly South altitude changes


When creating flights that are directly south or north say Detroit to Orlando simbrief loves to recommend changing altitudes from 340 to 350 back to 340. I can see why because I’m switching from west to east. My question is, is this realistic?


Hi Robbie,

From a flight planning perspective, yes it’s realistic. The flight plans airline pilots receive from dispatch will often also have these altitude changes.

Once in flight however, ATC will issue altitude changes as they see fit, depending on opposite direction traffic, their own standard procedures, etc. They usually don’t issue altitude changes for every change from west to east, so the actual altitudes will probably be different from the ones on the flight plan.

This is realistic though, and the effect on the fuel burn of flying 1000 ft higher/lower than flight plan for brief portions is pretty negligible.

Best regards,