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When you book your flight, you may be more concerned with the cost of your trip, not the outside factors which will determine the cost. So, how easy is it to determine the best and worst times to fly? The real answer is that it’s case by case. Keep reading to learn more.
Best and Worst Times to Fly: Time and Days of the Week and Holidays
To make your trip more bearable, schedule your flights during less busy times in the airport. According to USA Today and The Huffington Post, it’s recommended that you try to get booked on the earliest scheduled flights as a way to ensure that you’ll take off on time.
The Huffington Post in conjunction with AirHelp, an air claim support website, conducted a probability rating for flight delays by time of day. According to their research, the most delays occur at 6pm. The probability for a delay is at its lowest (20% or below) from 6am – 11am. Early morning flights have less runway traffic, planes ready to take off from the night before, and fewer planes already in the air.
Days of the week can impact the ticket price, along with delays. Weekdays as opposed to weekends may have more business travelers in relation to leisure travelers. Heavy commuter days, such as Mondays and Fridays will increase the price of a ticket, and subsequently the amount of congestion both on land and in the air.
The Huffington Post and AirHelp show the highest amount of delays occurring on Monday and Friday, Fridays being the highest, with delay probability at almost 30%. Monday comes in second at 25%, with the lowest probability for delays on the tarmac being Saturday. For easier leisure travel, consider Wednesday and Thursday, excludes Thanksgiving Weekend. Saturdays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays also come in as the cheapest days to fly, because they’re not popular travel days. Due to popularity, Sundays and Fridays are usually the most expensive days to fly.
Holidays always play a major role in not only traffic and delays, but also in price. The Winter Holiday season into the New Year can be tricky for booking and traveling.
According to Conde Nast, the two busiest Thanksgiving travel days as the day before and the Monday after, with Christmas’s busiest days as the 23rd – 26th, assuring that airports become less hectic by the 27th. New Year’s travel is at its peak from the 30th to New Year’s Day. Time of year for booking also plays in finding the best deals.
For Holiday Travel, Conde Nast suggests booking in late August to early September, or taking an early morning flight on Thanksgiving Day. On average, the best time to start planning an international trip is about 5 – 2 months before. Book too early and you may miss a really great deal. Book too late; and you could end up paying a very high price for your ticket. Prices see a sharp upturn as the holidays near, and the summer months, making availability scarce and demand high.
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Destinations Impact the Best and Worst Times to Fly
Consider your destination when flying internationally. This seems obvious, but many times, the distance of the destination, combined with national events at your destination; such as the World Cup, Oktoberfest, Hanami Festivals in Japan, play a role in the cost of travel.
The amount of tourism to a destination may increase the price of a ticket up during a specific time when the volume is higher, and a lot of the time, only published or retail rates will be available.
Regal Wings agent, Charles Reynolds says, “A good alternative to flying in to the country where the scheduled event is happening is to fly to a neighboring city that is a few hours away and commute to your desired destination.”
This common sense hack will can also decrease your travel expenses, as well as provide for a more interesting trip. What always makes a difference in cost, is flying from the Coastal US or Canada to a neighboring continent, for example: New York to London, L.A. to Shanghai, etc. will significantly change your scheduling, the amount of non-stops available and pricing relative to fuel costs.
Are you ready to travel? Contact your Travel Planners International agent today and ask him or her the best and worst times to fly.
Credits: Regal Wings; Alexis Marino, Regal Wings Business Outreach, Client Relations & Office Manager