Why you should never fly after midday during the holidays

BEFORE you book your summer holiday, you should check the flight times if you want to avoid being delayed.

Experts have explained that you should never fly after midday – unless you want to risk your flight being late.

Former pilot Kathleen Bangs told Forbes: “The early bird gets airborne, statistically, with less delays and fewer cancellations.

“The later it gets in the day, the more likely your flight is to be delayed or cancelled.

“As the day wears on, airlines have less options for passengers which is why if you really need to be on time, taking the morning flight is often your best bet.”

Recent data from Flightaware, which tracked flights across the US in July 2021, found 85 per cent to 90 per cent of flights were on time in the morning – compared to just 65 per cent to 70 per cent in the afternoon.

They also analysed flights during the week of Thanksgiving over the past 10 years, which found flights departing after 5pm had the most delays, with 50 per cent more than flights departing at midday.

Adit Damodaran, economist at Hopper, agreed, adding: “Later segment flights, which are those relying on crew and potentially the plane itself from a prior segment, are more susceptible to be delayed.

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“In other words, an early flight getting delayed can have a ‘ripple effect’ in which subsequent flights are also delayed.” 

Frequent flyer Dan Birchall also said that in case of overbooking on the flight, an earlier flight gives you the upper hand with the airline.

He explained: "If you show up for the early flight and there's some sort of problem, the airline can move you to the later one.

"But if you show up for the later flight, they can't move you to the early one unless you've brought a time machine with you."

A flight attendant also said that flying earlier will mean not only nicer crew, but much cleaner planes.

She told NBC News: "Early morning flights are the best – they’re almost always on time.

"We want to get home or get to our destinations just as much as you do. We’re happier if the flight takes off on time."

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