FlightAware Discussions

Why Do they have to do this?

I just flew from Ca. coast to Laughlin nv. We went to 35K feet. for a 1 hr. flite. I know they have Rules and Regs. But it
really seems a real waste in fuel and Time to climb to 35K rather then 10 or11k to clear the Mts. some one please
enlighten me. Thanks.

Short version: Jets are more efficient at higher altitudes.

Long version:

aviation.stackexchange.com/ques … -altitudes

(I hope you’ve brushed up on your thermodynamics)

edit: also, the energy (fuel) used to climb higher is not entirely wasted - while it’s not a free lunch, that extra altitude turns into speed on the way back down.