5 Ways to Avoid Flight Delays on Your Next Big Trip

Sweaty Betty abroad travelling

Even if you only fly once or twice a year, there’s a good chance that most people will have a flight delay or cancellation to deal with at some point in their lives. Ultimately, although many airlines are great at efficiently getting people to their destination on time, it’s fair to say that air travel isn’t perfect – things can easily go wrong.

Whether it’s a sudden storm or a problem with staff, there are countless reasons why you might find yourself unable to get off the tarmac and take off towards your destination on your next big trip. The good news is that with a little care and preparation, you might be able to reduce your risk of suffering from flight delays as much as possible.

If you’re concerned about reaching your destination on time, these tips may be able to help.

Fly on a Morning
If you choose your flight for the last slot in the evening and that plane is cancelled, then you’ll be stuck with an overnight delay whether you like it or not. It’s also worth noting that the later your flight takes off, the more likely you are to struggle with flight cancellations and delays. The reason for this is that the smallest flight issues can have a ripple effect on other flights throughout the day, leading to huge issues at night.

On the other hand, if you choose to fly early in the morning, you’ll not only keep your risk levels low, but you could also end up with a better chance of getting a different flight later in the day too.

Book Non-Stop Flights
When you’re trying to book a budget-friendly vacation and keep prices as low as possible, it’s tempting to choose connecting flights. After all, these options are often must cheaper than their direct counterparts. Unfortunately, the more stops you have in your itinerary, the more chances you have to get a delay in your schedule. If one of your stops is in a place where bad weather is common, your risk increases even more so.

The best way to keep yourself out of a sticky situation with your airline is to stick to direct journeys wherever you can. While this won’t work every time, it should help you to keep your flight horror stories to a minimum.

Choose Off-Peak Days and Seasons
Flying on off-peak days and out of holiday seasons is a good way to keep the cost of your flight as low as possible. After all, the fewer people that want to fly on the same day as you, the better your deal will be. However, cost savings aren’t the only reason to go off-peak. You’ll also find that there are far fewer people at the airport to end up causing issues with staff or other problems that might lead to a delay or cancellation.

When other flights get caught up with passenger problems, this increases the chances that your flight will also be delayed. Once again, we see the ripple effect come into play. Choosing an off-peak time to travel, in a season where fewer people will be around is a great way to reduce your risk. Additionally, because there won’t be as many people to re-seat if a plane is cancelled, you should find yourself on a replacement flight faster too.

Find Alternative Flights Just in Case
You don’t need to go as far as actually buying back-up tickets with an alternative airline but knowing that there are seats out there to your destination can come in handy when you’re faced with a flight delay. If you’ve got all the details you need about an alternative flight to give to your agent when cancellations or delays are announced, they may be able to help you get onto that other flight faster.

Sometimes all your airline needs to get you moving towards your destination is a little extra help. Instead of just lining up to complain when things go wrong, see if you can offer a possible solution.

Don’t Check your Bags
While this might not always be possible for longer trips if you’re worried about things like cancellations and flight delays, it’s best not to check your bags. Once your flight is packed or delayed, you could have a seriously tough time tracking it down again if you need to move onto another plane quickly. By sticking with a carry-on case only whenever you can, you ensure you’re always ready to jump into action when something goes wrong.

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