What is a Slot?

If you’ve ever flown on a plane, you know the frustration of being stuck at the gate waiting to take off. You’ve checked in on time, made it through security, found your gate and queued to get on board, struggled with the overhead lockers, crammed into your seat and settled down — then nothing happens. The captain comes on the speaker and says, “We’re waiting for a slot.” So what is a slot and why can’t you take off as soon as you’re ready?

A slot is an allocation of a specific time or place for an aircraft to take off or land, as authorized by an airport or air-traffic control. Generally, slots are allocated in increments of 30 minutes or so and are used to manage congestion and minimize the need to divert air traffic away from busy periods.

An online slot is a dynamic placeholder that either waits for content (a passive slot) or calls for it using a trigger or targeter to fill the slot with its own content (an active slot). The concept of slots and their properties are covered in the Offer Management Programming Guide.

Slots are not influenced by the outcome of previous spins. This myth is rooted in a false perception of how slot machines work. The actual process is random, and the number of wins or losses depends on a series of factors, including cognitive, social, and emotional influences.