Does it make a difference that your flight lands early?

Three of my last five international flights landed early, in fact the last one landed one hour and fifteen minutes early! It was a Qatar Airways 16 hour flight that ended up as a 14 hour 45 minute flight, (almost) flying over the North Pole and experiencing some pretty heavy tail winds. And, then what always happens, happened. We had no gate available, and had to ‘hold’ on the apron for almost an hour for a gate to be available. The non-availability of gates for the passengers to disembark is getting more and more common when a flight arrives early or even late. When a flight departs at its scheduled time, it is assigned a gate at its arrival airport. Since gates are limited, especially at busy international airports, an aircraft must be in and out within its allocated time. An early arrival or delayed departure would probably end up as a big problem. Ever wondered why your connecting flight would not even wait ten minutes for you? It would cost the airline more in fees paid for extra time at the gate than it would take for them to get you on another flight.

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