These days flight delays are becoming more and more frequent. There is nothing more frustrating than arriving at the airport and finding that your trip has been postponed. So much for your time management practices. If you are a frequent traveler, then flight delays can become annoying.
Flight delays can be caused by any number of problems ranging from bad weather to mechanical problems over which you have no control.
In fact, the delays have a ripple effect with one airport experiencing delays, to begin with, and many airports around the country getting affected subsequently. Most people have the impression that they can’t do anything about flight delays. On the contrary, although it is impossible to avoid flight delays altogether, you can do a few things so that you encounter them less frequently. Below are a few tips for avoiding flight delays.
1. The most obvious thing you can do is to prevent trips that are known to be delay prone. For their flight’s airlines publish the on-time average figures. At the time you book your flight make sure that you book a flight that has a good chance of arriving at its destination in time.
2. So far as a possible book on nonstop flights. This is because the more stops your plane makes there will be more opportunities for the flight to get delayed. Know the difference between direct flights and non-stop flights. A “direct flight” may make more than a single stop. Make sure that your site is nonstop.
3. If possible always try to book the earliest flight of the day or one of the earlier flights. Flight delays usually tend to ripple through as the day progresses and the delays worsen. Some travel consultants say that early mornings or the late afternoons are best. They also observe that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday are the best days as they are relatively less busy. Avoid booking on the day’s last flight to your destination as if that gets canceled then you are stuck overnight.
4. Try to book on an originator flight. It means that the flight originates from the airport you will be boarding from. These originator flights are usually delayed less frequently. Originator flights are usually available from large hubs like Chicago in the early morning. Call the airlines to learn about their originator flights.
5. Know more about your airlines. Some airlines are more prone to delays and flight cancellations due to labor disruptions. The Air Travel Consumer Report is published every month by the DOT that contains information about flights that were delayed or canceled. Try avoiding the airlines that were the worst offenders.
6. Keeping the direction of the flight in mind is very important while booking one. In case you are flying to the Gulf, or East Coasts then book on early departures of the day. This will help you to avoid storm systems that usually start later in the day. It follows that you should try to avoid flights that depart early in the evening.
7. Avoiding the major hubs by using smaller airports will help you to avoid flight delays. These secondary airports are mostly less congested, and therefore they are less prone to flight delays. Avoid the major hubs like Chicago O’Hare, New York, and Atlanta and book your flights from the secondary airports near them whenever possible.
8. While booking your flights, it is advisable to leave sufficient time for connections. This is because even if their flights are fully booked airlines are not obliged to hold their flights for passengers who will be connecting. You must schedule your flights so as to allow at least one hour for making your connections. Therefore never book on flights with tight connections.