What Are The Most Common Times And Days For Flight Cancelations?

If you’ve read the news in the last few months, you may have seen the dozens of cancellations plaguing airlines every week. However, there are some statistically good times to fly, when the chances of cancellation are reduced dramatically. Here’s a look at the best time to fly to avoid being stranded in an airport.

Late morning is the best time to fly

An analysis by The Independent from May 7th to June 6th of UK airports found that the late morning is the best time to fly to avoid cancelation chaos. In particular, flights between 10:00 and 13:00 were the least likely to be canceled, with only 0.75% of these services axed by airports (28 flights that month).


Comparatively, the worst time to fly is the late evening, 18:00 to 21:00, with airlines removing 3% of all flights in those hours, a four-fold increase (138 flights that month). Therefore, booking a late morning. flight now has the added advantage of getting you to your destination at the planned time (and a few extra hours of sleep).

UK airports are facing a shortage of nearly all ground staff, from security to baggage handlers to airline crew. Photo: Getty Images

The reason for this wide variance is cancelations come down to available resources. As the day wraps up, airlines tend to run out of available crew and staff for their flights, bringing them closer to curfews at some airports. While the morning might see airlines move staffers around to fill flights, this may not be possible at night.

Best days to fly

While timing is one-half of the equation, choosing the right day can have an impact on your flight as well. The analysis recommends flying from Wednesday to Saturday to lower the chances of a canceled service. In particular, Saturday is the best day to fly, with 157 flights (1.3% of all departures) canceled from May 7th to June 6th on the day.

Monday and Tuesday have also seen high levels of cancellations, while Wednesday and Friday are far better for passengers. So on your next flight, try to fly on off-peak days to avoid the worst of the chaos.

Traveling on non-peak days will also help with long queues at check-in and security. Photo: Getty Images

Sunday and Monday tend to be the end of travel for most holidays and business travelers, stretching airline availability thinly in recent weeks. Meanwhile, fewer passengers tend to fly in or out during the week or on Saturday, making it easier for airlines to staff up flights they have sold.

Several more variables

While avoiding Sunday and flying from 10-13: 00 are the best tips to avoid cancelations, several more variables play a role too. For example, choosing the right airline this summer is crucial. The analysis found KLM to be the worst offender in cancelations out of the UK (one in 20 flights axed), followed by Flybe (one in 20) and easyJet (one in 26). Meanwhile, Ryanair and Jet2 shined through with only three (one in 4,366) and five cancellations (one in 1,037) ), respectively.

Similarly, avoiding badly staffed airports like Amsterdam Schiphol and Dublin may be good for passengers. For now, traveling this summer will be a delicate balance, but using these handy tips could save you a lot of hassle.

Do you have any tips for passengers traveling over the summer? Let us know in the comments!

Source: The Independent

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