How to Avoid Flight Delays: 10 Tips for Better Travel
Delayed flights are hard to avoid these days. In fact, it has been noted that out of every 100 flights in the US and EU, 25 either depart or arrive delayed. This is due to a lot of many different reasons that include ATC regulations, crew problems, and even catering delays. The only good thing about your flight leaving the airport delayed is the flight delay compensation you are entitled to.
If you don’t want to miss a connecting flight or don’t want to be stuck in the airport for hours on end, there are actually ways you can steer clear of flight delays. Here are ten tips that may come in handy when you are aiming to avoid flight delays on your trips:
Get the earliest flight you can find
People don’t like traveling at the crack of dawn but in reality, it is the best time to fly out. It is rare for the first flight out of any airport to be delayed so booking that flight will almost guarantee that you don’t experience any delay. The best time for air travel is in the morning since it is the start of the day at any airport and any delays that may have caused a domino effect the night before is over and done with.
The new day begins with a fresh chain of aircraft ready to fly out. Since there are no previous delays on the tarmac or runway that can possibly cause your flight to depart late, you can rest assured that you will arrive at your destination on time.
Keep an eye on the weather conditions
Traveling during the calmest times of the year will give you the biggest chances of getting a flight that is not delayed. Of course, if you need to travel at any time of the year and are afraid that adverse weather conditions will affect the timeliness of your flight, you should book a morning flight. This is because mornings are usually calmer than afternoons around the world when it comes to weather conditions, except for a few places like San Francisco and DFW Texas.
Mornings in SFO are often plagued with thick fog, making it difficult for planes to depart on time. For DFW Texas, storms are rampant in the mornings, so afternoon flights are your best bet here when it comes to delays caused by the weather. If you do run into these problems due to some freak storm, you can rest assured that any delay may be compensated due to the EU flight delay compensation regulations.
Don’t book a flight during the busy months
Traveling during summer or winter opens you up to months where airports are pretty much congested. Try to find out which months of your favorite travel seasons are prone to a huge outflow and influx of people so you can avoid booking travel on those months. For example, during summer, July seems to be the time when people decide to travel. This means more people getting on flights, and more flights equates to more traffic on the tarmac and runway. This can result in huge delays if one or more of these flights encounter problems.
Another thing to remember is when you book during the holiday season, expect to see the same kind of crowds at the airport. If you don’t want to experience flight delays at all, don’t fly in or out during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other holiday season. Of course, if you need to fly home for the holidays, you can rest in the fact that should there be a delay in your flight, you may be entitled to a flight delay claim, depending on the circumstance surrounding the delay.
Try to get a direct or non-stop flight to your destination
Connecting flights can be a huge pain especially when you have a small window of time to get from one part of the airport to another just to make it. If at all possible, avoid booking flights that have connections, layovers, and the like. These are often prone to delays, missed flights, and even flight cancellations, particularly if the weather in the connecting flight’s location is notoriously erratic. A non-stop flight will ensure that you get to where you want to go without any delays or hitches in between.
Try to avoid weekend flights
Yes, weekends are notorious for being some of the busiest days in airports worldwide. If you need to be somewhere during the weekend, try to get there a day or two in advance to avoid flight delays and issues caused by weekend airport congestion. The reason for this is there are fewer passengers going to and from popular destinations in the middle of the week.
If you can get off work a day or two ahead of time just to get to your destination without a hitch, do so. Also, you will have a bigger chance of booking cheaper flights if you book those that are in the middle of the week. Since there are fewer passengers on these flights, airlines try to encourage people to book these by lowering the prices.
Try to fly out of smaller airports instead of major hubs
If you have a domestic airport that has flights that take you to your destination, or somewhere near it, choose that over the larger international ones for your departure choice. Smaller airports usually have fewer passengers and fewer flights, which removes any chance of delays from runway and tarmac congestion.
Your only problem with smaller airports would be flight cancellations for under-booked flights. When this happens, you can claim flight cancellation compensation under the EU261 regulations.
Do your research and keep yourself updated
Finding out about the percentage of flight delays at a specific airport in your area as compared with another that you can also fly out from will help you choose the better airport to go to. Whether it is a major hub or a smaller domestic airport, if you have information on how often flight delays happen at your airport options, you can choose the one with fewer delays, even if it were the bigger airport. Whether the airport is huge or smaller, when you experience delays and cancellations, the result is the same. So finding out which option is better based on records can help you choose better. If delays or cancellation does happen regardless of your choice, filing a flight claim for the problem can help defray any additional expenses caused by such an inconvenience.
Bring only carry-on luggage to avoid delays when you have a connecting flight
Checked in luggage have to be checked out and checked in again when you have a connecting flight. If you cannot get a non-stop ticket to your destination, and you have to get on a connection, having only carry-on luggage will help prevent delays to your next flight. This is because your first flight won’t have to unload your luggage and unload it to your next flight, which can actually cause delays especially when they cannot locate your checked-in luggage immediately. If your luggage is the cause of delay, you may still claim flight compensation for the delay since it isn’t your fault that the people handling the transfer messed up.
Prepare contingency measures
If you really want to get to your destination on time, make sure you have information on other routes that can take you there should your currently booked flight fizzle out. Being prepared means you can get ahead of the pack when it comes to booking another flight to your chosen destination should your current one get cancelled or experience a huge delay. Just make sure you file your airline delay compensation so you don’t come out of the dilemma as spending double the money on tickets.
Be prepared for anything
At the end of the day, if your only option is to wait for your flight to depart despite the delay, being prepared will help you survive it better. Bring a book, have your laptop handy, and wear comfortable clothes so you don’t have to feel put out even if you have to wait hours for your departure. It is also important that you know what your rights are when these things happen. That way, when you file your EU flight compensation claim, you know that you are entitled to what you should be getting from the airline for the hassle they put you through.
If all else fails, despite you following all of these tips and tricks to avoid flight delays, you can always claim compensation for the hassle such an event has brought you. While no one wants to find themselves stuck at the airport waiting for a flight that is 3 to 4 hours behind, you can rest assured that you can get compensation for this issue. Filing an EU26 compensation claim will help ease some of the stress and worry brought about by these flight delay issues.