Flying has been a mess lately. But, even before the situation got really out of hand, there always seemed to be one time of day that is best to fly.
Over many years of traveling, we have noticed that not all hours of the day and night are equal. When it comes to flying, sometimes are better than others. If you are booking a flight, you want to make sure to learn the best time to fly.
I am a firm believer that mid-morning is the best time to fly. There are several reasons why I feel this way and I am certain by the time you read through them that you are sure to agree.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, one of the primary reasons that morning is the best time to fly is directly related to airline schedules. As any given day goes on, flight delays and cancellations begin to pile up. This creates a ripple effect that gets so backlogged as the day goes on. One of the best ways to avoid this is to schedule a mid-morning departing flight.
But that is just one of several reasons why mid-morning flights are the way to go. Would you believe me, if I told you that morning flights are also more sustainable?
Obviously, the morning hours tend to be a bit cooler. This has an impact on the earth’s atmosphere. As temperatures heat up, the layers of the atmosphere get a bit thinner. The thinner the layer, the higher a plane has to climb to reach its cruising altitude. Since more and more planes are having to fly at higher altitude, we are putting more jet fuel fumes directly into the upper levels of the atmosphere, which isn’t great.
On top of this, morning flights also require less energy to keep the cabin temperatures regulated, especially in the hot summer months. So, why not easily offset your carbon foot print a bit when booking a flight and fly mid-morning.
Another great factor to consider about mid-morning flights is that your fellow passengers tend to be a little more tired. Oftentimes, they take the opportunity to snooze. Many morning fliers are also traveling for business, so they will likely spend flight time working. Of course, both of these things mean your flights will generally be quieter that afternoon flights.
Airports are also generally not nearly as busy in the morning as they are during afternoon times. This means shorter TSA and food lines, fewer people to navigate around and an overall more enjoyable travel experience.
With that said, one of the reasons we think mid-morning is better than early morning relates to operating hours of businesses you may utilize during your trip. Departing too early (or arriving at your destination too late at night) may mean you miss many businesses and their workers. This is not ideal, especially in situations where you require assistance.
I can still easily recall arriving in Paris very late at night and needing assistance to find our ground transportation shuttle. The place we were instructed to report to was closed for the night and no one would help us. Arriving at a better time would have solved the issue.
Another reason mid-morning flights are great has to do with the timeliness of communication. When you have a flight that departs in the wee hours of the morning, you often receive crucial communication from the airline a little too late (or early for that matter). It is much better to find out about last minute schedule changes before you set the alarm for the crack of dawn to head to the airport. Booking your flight a little bit later in the morning gives you a cushion to receive updates and modify plans if needed.
Return Flight Time
Have you ever booked a return flight that leaves your destination super early in the morning? So early, that you have to get up in the wee hours of the morning? We have. And I do not like it. Let’s face it… sadly there are plenty of places where being on the road at certain times makes you a target for crime or other issues.
I automatically think of the touristy areas of Mexico when this comes to mind. If you are staying at a major resort but have an early morning flight, you might be on the road to the airport around 3:00 am. Unfortunately, this has become a very dangerous situation in the last several years. A mid-morning flight would help avoid a situation like this.
Similarly, we had a flight that left Bangkok around 6:00 am, but we were staying in Pattaya. We had to leave our hotel around 1:00 in the morning to drive back to Bangkok to arrive at the airport. It was sketchy! Just book the mid-morning flight!
Depending on the length of flight and time at arrival, booking an early morning flight may also put you in position to have a prime arrival time at your destination. I don’t love arriving in strange places in the middle of the night. I also don’t like arriving too early to check in to our hotel. Again, there are a lot of factors that play into this, but mid-morning flights can lead to ideal arrival times.
Speaking of arrival times, taking a mid-morning flight back home also has many perks. If planned right, you may get home in enough time to relax a little before returning to work. We never used to do this, but now we strive to arrive home early enough to have a bit of downtime.
In summary, you can see there are many reasons why a mid-morning flight is the best time to fly. We will continue to book flights that depart in this time range as much as possible and enjoy the conveniences offered.
Yup! I definitely learned this summer that for me, flying earlier is the best policy. Especially if there is an issue with delays or missed flights, the options are so much better if you fly early.
This was really such an interesting read and very helpful! Luckily I didn’t have any problems this summer but heard some real horror stories.
We had two flights cancelled this summer – months before the departures were scheduled!
That’s such a good point about morning flight being more sustainable!
Great post! I completely agree that mid morning flights are the best. I like getting to my destination with plenty of time to find my accommodation and have a bit of a look around, so morning flights are my favourite.
I’ve always preferred early morning flights, but I had no idea they were also more sustainable – even more reason to continue booking flights at that time of day! Xx Sara
We prefer mid morning flights as well. I always download airline app to see where incoming flight is from and if it’s delayed, that gives us an idea (outside of crew issue and weather) if our flights on time
Such great tips! Ever since we got stuck in Las Vegas for three nights (so terrible, I know), we always try to leave in the morning. Lots of people don’t realize all of the reasons a plane can be delayed. Great post!
Lots of great tips here! I always consider the flight time so that I have more time at a location and aren’t wasting an entire day travelling.