Wondering about the definition of actual time of arrival? Keep reading to learn the meaning of ATA, see some examples, and get a better understanding of this travel glossary term!
What is the Actual Time of Arrival?
The actual time of arrival, or ATA, is the exact time a given form of transportation arrives at its intended destination.
As opposed to the estimated time of arrival (ETA), the ATA is the time that the flight, train, bus, cruise, or other mode of transportation truly arrives, which may be later than the ETA due to standard delays, or earlier thanks to fair winds or less traffic.
The ATA is when a vehicle arrives at a destination, but it can still vary depending on the company or industry. For flights, the ATA may be when the plane arrives at its gate rather than when it lands, and for an Uber ride, it could be when the driver reaches the destination area, though they might keep moving to find a suitable place to let passengers out safely.
More on the Meaning of ATA
Before the chosen mode of transportation begins its journey, passengers may be given an ETA (estimated time of arrival) to help them make proper plans and give them a sense of control. However, due to possible circumstances (helpful and otherwise) and delays, such as weather conditions, traffic, or a vehicular malfunction, the actual time of arrival may differ from the ETA, both ahead of schedule and behind schedule.
The complementary term for actual time of arrival is the actual time of departure (ATD).
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