Urgh, flight delays!
A delayed or canceled flight can have a huge impact on your travel plans. You could find that you end up missing your connecting flights, or even arrive late for crucial meetings. Sometimes, a flight delay could mean that you miss out on special events or end up stuck in an airport for hours on end.
Unfortunately, no matter how well you plan, there’s always a chance that you could fall victim to a flight delay. In fact, the chances are that most of us will experience this problem at some point in our lives. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to reduce your risk levels wherever possible.
While nothing can stop a hurricane from rolling into town on the day you’re set to take off, or magically fix a problem with an engine, you can look at the trends to adopt habits that reduce your risk of an unexpected delay.
1. Take a Non-Stop Flight
Though it might be a little bit more expensive, reducing the number of flights you need to take to get to your chosen destination could also reduce the number of chances your airline has to mess something up. If you have trouble finding a non-stop flight to your chosen destination, there are always a few different workaround options that you might be able to try.
For example, if you’re within driving distance of another airport, then you could look for flights going from that location that you can’t take from your typical airport. On the other hand, if you’re stuck with a layover and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it, then you should always schedule a safety net of time between your flights. This will help to ensure that you don’t miss your connection when your flight is delayed.
2. Keep Holiday Rush in Mind
The holidays, from school breaks to Christmas, are often the most popular times to travel because people have some scheduled time away from work, and they generally want to make the most out of it. Unfortunately, this means that you can also expect to see airports packed full of people who are looking to take advantage of the time they have.
The more people you have to contend with at your chosen airport, the more time you’ll spend in security lines, check-in lines, and so on. What’s more, the fact that more flights are booked also leads to more congestion in the skies.
Being more flexible with your travel dates can help you to reduce your risk of delays and minimize potential problems as much as possible. If you can leave a little earlier in the week than some of the other crowds too, and come back a bit later, then you could improve your chances of getting to your location on time.
3. Keep an Eye on the Weather
There’s nothing much you can do about a sudden storm or a downpour that wreaks havoc on the air traffic system, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan your trip around times when your destination city and origin city are generally likely to have better weather.
A great tactic to employ is making sure that you keep your eye on the weather reports starting from around ten days before and after your trip. If there’s any chance that a huge storm could be coming your way, then you might want to switch out your plans.
4. Pick the Perfect Time to Fly, and Choose Airports Wisely
Finally, when you fly, and where you fly from will have a huge impact on the likelihood that you could face a delay. Mornings are typically a lot better than afternoons, and airport trends show that the best way to avoid delays and make sure that you take off on time is to choose a flight that departs as early as possible.
It’s also a good idea to avoid Fridays because there are more flights scheduled on that day and therefore more opportunities for the delays to start stacking up.
What’s more, while you’re picking your day with caution, make sure that you choose your airport wisely too. Not all of the airports available are created equal, and it’s a good idea to check your chosen location’s track record for canceled and delayed flights. If the airport you choose has a bad reputation, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your flight is definitely going to be delayed or canceled, but you might want to reconsider your options just in case.