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The Best and Worst Times to Fly

Published onJan 19, 2023
The Best and Worst Times to Fly

When booking your flights to go away for a holiday or a business trip, you’ll often need to decide between several flight times. Some flights will be cheaper than others, and some might provide additional benefits such as more time in your holiday destination. We take a look at the flight time options so you can choose the best time to fly. 

Early morning outbound flights

Choosing an early morning flight when you’re travelling to a destination has many benefits but also a few disadvantages. You’ll arrive at your destination earlier; this is great if you want to make the most of your time on holiday; that first day can feel like an extra day if you arrive at your destination at 11 am rather than 8 pm in the evening. There are also some stats to show that early morning flights experience fewer delays, there are fewer planes in the air, and the planes are sitting ready to go from the previous night. If you hate delays, choose an early morning flight for the best possible chance of setting off on time. There are some disadvantages of early morning take-offs; you’ll need to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before your scheduled flight time. If your flight is early, it may mean getting to the airport in the early hours of the morning. This can be challenging if you struggle to function without much sleep or if you have young children. In addition, trains, tubes and buses are unlikely to be running at this time, so you’ll need to take a taxi or drive to the airport instead. You might be able to get a bargain if you choose to travel early in the morning; always check out the flight prices at different times of the day if you’re on a budget.

Daytime outbound flights 

Travelling in the daytime can feel less stressful; you can wake up at a reasonable time and give yourself the opportunity to get ready at home with plenty of sleep. In addition, you can use public transport to get to the airport, although some people still choose to drive and use the parking at Manchester airport and other airports. It can be less stressful and cheaper, especially if you’re travelling with a car full of people. Depending on the length of your flight and the time you set off, you could still get there with enough time to enjoy the evening in your chosen location. Price is one factor that may change the time you choose to fly; typically, flights in the day are more expensive than early morning and late evening flights. Delays might also be more common when choosing to fly in the day; flights typically run back to back with minimal turnaround time. This means a slight delay will push back any subsequent flights that day. 

Night-time outbound flights

Flying to your destination at night is a good option if you're comfortable sleeping on the plane or in the airport. It can save you money in two ways, firstly the flights are likely cheaper and secondly, you can save money on hotel costs as you’ll be booking one less night. You’re unlikely to be able to travel by public transport if you’re flying at night, but when driving, you’ll avoid busy roads and get to the airport quickly. In addition, there are fewer delays for nighttime flights, so you don't need to worry about spending extra time hanging around the airport. The airports are often quieter, so you can get a seat or find somewhere you can sleep for a few hours before getting on your flight. The only downside is you’re less likely to be refreshed when you reach your destination, and you might not be able to check into your accommodation until later in the day, leaving you hanging around with your bags. This won’t be an issue if you’re staying with someone you know or if you have your own home in the destination country. 

When it comes to choosing the time of your outbound flight, your choice will depend on your current situation, budget and preference. Always consider all options before choosing your flight time. 

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