I stay in Pittsburgh, the time zone is EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). I purchased a ticket of a flight that departs at 8.20 AM from here on next Thursday. When I purchased this, there was a different time in Pittsburgh -- and few days before it 'sprang forward' by 1 hour -- the standard thing that happens for daylight savings times. My question is: does the time shown on my ticket take care of this change, and I don't need to recalculate the departure time, just show up according to the current time at Pittsburgh? My guess is 'yes', just want to double check from experienced travellers -- don't want to miss my flight.

Update after the travel: Yes, indeed it takes care of that. So, the travellers can be calculation-free :-)

  • 2
    A more interesting question would be what happens for flights that depart between 1-2am on the day in November when DST ends, because there are actually two 1-2am periods that day in the local time.
    – user102008
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 4:19
  • 4
    @JonathanReez trivial unless they change the rules at short notice: blogs.technet.microsoft.com/dst2007/2008/05/26/… which did lead to a round of flight schedule changes
    – Flexo
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 6:58
  • 5
    @Jonathan There is absolutely nothing trivial about datetime, certainly not for computers. Just one fun example: At what time (UTC) would my flight leave from the airport in Vienna, if it was scheduled to take-off at 2:30am local time on October 30th this year?
    – Voo
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 12:46
  • 3
    @Jonathan Yup only then. Well there might have been some complications say for people at the end of December 2011 in Samoa, but apart from that.. (do I have to go on?). My point being if you think that anything with datetimes is trivial you just don't know enough.
    – Voo
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 14:47
  • 1
    @Voo interestingly enough, there were plenty of flights out of JFK on November 1st, 2015 between 1 and 2 AM (previous DST date): i.imgur.com/L9bTUUp.png
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


Yes, flight departure times for normal passenger flights are always shown in official local time, which follows DST changes according to the local rules.

  • I was recently on a train that was delayed due to work on the track and the times on the ticket (sold and printed months in advance) did match those of the actual journey (not those of the usual one.) Departure times in daylight saving is childs play compared to that.
    – Willeke
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 22:00
  • 8
    I wonder when a flight scheduled to leave Pittsburgh at 1:30 AM, November 6 actually leaves. Maybe it just takes off, goes into a holding pattern for an hour, comes back and tries again.
    – Jason C
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 0:35
  • 2
    @JasonC lol :-P but seriously though, I think it's a moot point unless there actually is a flight that takes off at that time. Air traffic is pretty light after midnight and it wouldn't surprise me if they just don't schedule flights during the repeated hour, to avoid confusion. ninja edit after reading comments on the question: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/10419/…
    – David Z
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 7:05
  • @JasonC That said, I actually was looking at flights that landed between 1 and 2 am on the day DST ended. I didn't even think about that time being ambiguous until later. Fortunately, I scheduled a different time anyway, so it ended up being moot.
    – reirab
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 14:16
  • 1
    @JasonC: Ideally it will say "1:30AM EST" or "1:30AM EDT" which will let you know exactly when it leaves. Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 20:58

The time shown on the ticket is, as far as I know, always local time as it will apply when the flight departs. In particular, I wouldn't expect a ticket to be sold with a time quoted in EST for flight on a day on which daylight saving time was in force. The change in time of your ticket was probably for the airline's operational reasons and the start of daylight saving was almost certainly a coincidence.

However, in any case where you're uncertain about this, you should check with your airline, not ask random people on the internet to guess for you.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .