Stupid question about flying and earth's rotation
Posted on 2004-10-21
I have a really stupid question. I'm going to Las Vegas next week and when I was booking my flight I noticed something strange. From New York to Vegas non-stop takes over 5 hours. Now the strange part to me, and only me becasue my friends think I'm stupid for asking. If Vegas is three hours behind that means it takes the earth about three hours to rotate to the point where NY is. So if I just decided to hover over NY in about 3 hours I'd be over Vegas. Now of course Vegas is actually further south than New York but even than if I just flew a little south and hovered it would take me 3 hours to reach Vegas. Now a plane isn't hovering it's flying towards the place you want to go. So a plane traveling towards Vegas should take less than 3 hours, right? I mean it makes sense to me, what am I missing.
Just to add to my confusion it turns out the flight back is less than 5 hours, how is that possible?