New user, joined just to ask this question that has been gnawing at me for the last week!
On March 1, 2021 I flew KAL18 from LAX to ICN. I’ve made this same flight probably a dozen times and always take the right side of the aircraft to look down on the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, Kamchatka, etc. As a former navigator, I’m well aware of great circle navigation. But this particular flight took flew the same latitude for most of the flight, never making it north of the California-Oregon border. The difference in flight paths is so radical that I can’t imagine it could have been very fuel-friendly, and I also noticed that the SOG was around 450 rather than the typical 550 or so. The flight time was 13:41 which isn’t much longer than average, and in fact, the next KAL 18 flight took a great circle route and the duration was 13:55.
Can anyone explain why this might have been done and, also, how the heck did we make it across in less time than the great circle route.