It may seem obvious, but when you're traveling, you want to get there on time. So why do we need to discuss this?
Because so many people don't!
...Get there on time that is...
When you're planing your flights for your trip, there are several things to keep in mind so this doesn't happen to you....
Of course you want to get to your destination on time... but...
tendency is to book flights to get you to the ship...
...or the tour...
...or the wedding just exactly when you need to be there.
That's really not the best option.
In order to be sure you get there on time, it's a better idea to plan on flights that will get you there early.
Because if you plan it that way, you won't have to worry if problems arise.... you'll still get there on time.
What if your flight is delayed or canceled? With fewer flights, it'll be harder to get on the next plane out if this happens to you.
Delays and cancellations are risks in snow-and-sleet season, but there can be problems in summer too... think thunderstorms on the East Coast of the U.S. They delay flights every summer.
You can check on-time performance records of flights you're considering, but this won't help with weather problems.
If you're traveling abroad, you have to worry about monsoons, transiting foreign airports, customs delays if you need to exit to connect to... wherever.
The first flight of the day is generally your best bet for avoiding delays.
You won't get stuck behind other delayed planes....
Those delays have a domino effect and get worse throughout the day.
Having said that, many times these will be hubs, and you won’t be able to avoid them.
It's because they are hubs that they have more delayed flights than other airports.
It's sort of the nature of hubs. It may also be because of their weather problems... as in the case of ORD (Chicago) or runway alignment as in the case of SFO (San Francisco).
This gets back to the get there early idea.
Fly at least 24 hours before you need to be there (or back home).
If you're connecting be sure your layover is at least two hours. Sure layovers are a drag, but if you have a tight connection, and that first flight is delayed an hour... your connection is BUSTED!!! Now what?
If you can't avoid a tight connection, have a "plan B" ahead of time. If you're delayed, knowing the alternatives will be valuable when you're trying to rebook.
To avoid missing your flight in the first place be sure you get to the airport in plenty of time.
Most airlines now cut off check in for domestic flights 30 minutes to flight time. Show up 29 minutes to flight time... with bags to check... and you won't be going when you thought you would.
Even getting there 30 minutes ahead is dicey if there is any possibility of long lines at security. And face it, that's always a possibility.
So to get there on time, get to the airport early... for an early morning flight... avoid tight connections and get there a day ahead. You can get over your jet lag, get a good nights sleep and be ready for the start of your trip.
Get to the airport early... for an early morning flight...
Avoid tight connections.
Get there a day ahead.
You can get over your jet lag, get a good nights sleep and be ready for the start of your trip.