What is the Best Time of Day to Fly?

digital alarm clock on a nightstand with a hand touching the top of it

Your trip starts the moment you step foot through those airport doors – so it makes sense you want to make sure you pay close attention to every detail of your flight.

The best time of day to fly isn’t an entirely simple question, and there are a few other things you might want to consider to be sure you’ve booked the best flight.

The Best Time Of Day To Fly To Avoid Flight Delays

Flight delays can throw off your entire itinerary, especially if you’ve got a connecting flight to catch. The best time to fly in order to avoid flight delays is early in the morning, or the first flight of the day.

Domestically, most airlines aren’t flying overnight, so it’s more likely your jet will be at the gate waiting for you when you arrive. Additionally, if the first flight of the day is delayed, it’ll only grow worse for subsequent flights throughout the day if the plane operates more than once per day. For instance, if you’re catching a late afternoon flight from Minneapolis to Denver, but that flight to Minneapolis earlier in the day has been delayed, you can expect your flight to be delayed even further.

For the best chance of prompt boarding and takeoff, the earlier the better.

view from an airplane window of clouds and the sun rising

The Best Time Of Day To Fly To Avoid Crowds

A busy airport is a stressful airport. The lines are longer, navigating the corridors becomes more difficult, and there’s more sensory distraction all around you. For nervous flyers, a busy airport can be enough to push you over that anxiety edge. If you’re looking to avoid crowds in order to have a more relaxed flight experience, it’s best to choose a flight after 6 pm.

Typically, the busiest airport hours will be during the workday, or around 8 am to 5 pm, with the crowds starting to dwindle past the 6 o’clock hour.

The Best Time Of Day To Fly To Avoid Turbulence

Turbulence is something of a controversial topic for travelers – some people enjoy a few bumps, some can’t stand it, and others couldn’t care less about it at all. If you’d prefer to avoid a turbulent flight, the time of day you’re flying really matters.

Afternoons often see the most turbulence, with “air pockets” lessening overnight and during the early morning hours. Overnight or “red eye” flights will typically have the smoothest experiences.

The Best Time Of Day To Fly Internationally

The best time of day to fly internationally really depends on what type of flight experience you want to have and what you’re planning to do when you get there.

For the smoothest flight experiences, settling in for these long-haul flights overnight is best. Turbulence is likely to be lower, and it may be easier to sleep on the plane in order to avoid arriving with jet lag.

If you have trouble sleeping on a flight, and you don’t mind a couple of air bumps along the way, you may seek out an early morning or afternoon flight instead. This gives you a better chance to arrive in the late afternoon or early evening depending on your destination, and it allows you to arrive at the airport fresh, energized, and ready to face the day.

person resting their head near an airplane window while they sleep

The Best Time Of Day To Fly With Kids

It can be tough to get good rest on a plane, especially when kids are already feeling cooped up and bored.

For this reason, it’s best to choose morning flights when taking a trip with the kids. Little ones are more likely to be well-rested and in better moods, which makes the experience much easier for all. Additionally, morning flights are the least likely to be delayed, so parents are less likely to face a difficult schedule change with children in tow

The Best Time Of Day To Fly To Save Money On Airfare

Early morning flights aren’t just some of the most prompt, they’re also some of the least expensive.

While flight rates are subject to change all the time, the demand isn’t typically as high for early morning flights, leading them to be cheaper on average. Many travelers don’t want to wake up extra early to make it to the airport, leaving behind a huge benefit for those who don’t mind getting up before the sun.

The Safest Time Of Day To Fly

It’s important to note that flying in a commercial plane is one of the single safest modes of travel in the world. Realistically, there is no “unsafe” time to fly, but some flights are preferred by anxious fliers over others.

Flying in the early morning or overnight often helps you avoid turbulence or the risk of storms, which means they’re often viewed as the safest times of day to fly for many.

The Best Time Of Day To Fly When Leaving Home

If you’re leaving home and making your way to the airport, you may be best off choosing an early morning flight. These flights are least likely to be delayed, they make it easier to catch connecting flights if necessary, and air circulation is freshest for a bit of natural energy to kick off the day ahead.

The Best Flight Time When Flying Back Home

Picking the flight you’re going to take back home from your trip is important. An early flight means calling it an early night the last day of your trip, maybe losing a day of vacation, and potentially avoiding what you really want to do in order to make sure you’re all packed up and ready to leave on time.

When flying back home, it may be beneficial to choose a late afternoon or early evening flight instead. This gives you a more enjoyable final morning away, it lets you take a relaxed approach to packing, and you may even have a bit of time to squeeze in one last activity before taking off for home.

No matter what time of day you choose to fly, parking and making your way to the airport shouldn’t be a hassle. At EZ Airport Park you have 24/7 access to parking and our easy shuttle service no matter the time or day. Book today and know we’re here to help.