A flight attendant and aviation expert have both suggested booking early-morning flights.
With a flight earlier in the day, passengers have a better shot at getting places on time.
I took their advice and booked a 6:30 a.m. flight home after Christmas.
When CiCi, a flight attendant who has worked at a major airline for five and a half years, told me that she always recommends booking early-morning flights, it made sense.
The earlier the flight, the less time there is for things to go wrong.
So when it came to booking a flight home after Christmas, I took her advice and reserved an early-morning plane ride home from Orlando, Florida, to Denver, Colorado.
It's helped me feel a little more confident going into the hectic travel season.
CiCi isn't the only expert who suggested this tip
Earlier this year, CiCi, who goes by @cici.inthesky on TikTok and Instagram, shared her top four tips for navigating the holiday travel season. She asked BI to omit her full name and employer for privacy concerns. (BI has verified CiCi's employment at a major US airline.)
One thing she said she always does is "fly out as early as possible."
And she's not the only one who recommends it.
"Book a flight early in the morning — the first flight out if you can," Charles said.
Both Charles and CiCi said these early flights are less likely to be delayed.
Chances are your aircraft arrived at the airport the night before. This means travelers aren't waiting for an inbound flight to arrive. Plus, your flight crew also likely overnighted at the destination, CiCi said.
Early-morning flights also experience less of a snowball effect if things do go wrong, both CiCi and Charles said.
I took the experts' advice and booked a morning flight home
Last holiday season, flying was a nightmare.
I booked two evening flights and both experienced delays.
Typically, this wouldn't be a major deal. But since my flights were late at night, I feared that the flight crews could time out, that the flights ahead of me would take priority with departing, and I'd be left without a way home.
Thankfully, I made it to both of my destinations — just later than expected.
In an attempt to avoid last year's drama, I booked a 6:30 a.m. flight home from Orlando to Denver.
Things can still go wrong. Technology could still fail, weather could disrupt my flight, and crews could get stuck in the wrong cities.
But if things go wrong, the good news is that I'll have more options for rebooking since there will be an entire day of flights ahead of me.
Sure, I'll be grumpy waking up early, but I'm hoping it'll pay off by getting back home on time.
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