Flight route changes with direction


Apologies if this is a duplicate post, ive searched but cant find a layman’s answer. Im taking first international trip March 30, AVL-ATL-AMS-IST. Selecting window seat on the ATL-AMS flight and wondered why routes to AMS from ATL take a much lower trajectory ( flightaware.com/live/flight/DAL7 … /EHAM/KATL ) takes a much different path. If one path is the shortest, why wouldnt they fly the same route both directions? Im sure there is a simple explanation, I assume related to the rotation of the Earth, but my brain doesnt want to grasp it.


It is all about where the jetstream is. It makes a substantial difference to travel time / fuel costs to fly with the jetstream eastbound and avoid it westbound.

See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Atlantic_Tracks


Thank you so much, I really appreciate that. I will go back through jetstream history and match them to the flight path history, maybe i can get an idea of my flight path coming up.