Faced with major disruptions, more and more passengers are asking about the best times and routes to travel. Here is an overview.
Faced with major disruptions, more and more passengers are asking about the best times and routes to travel. Planning is more essential than ever for smooth air travel given the setbacks of the past month.
A tidal wave of delays and cancellations hit airports across Britain, the US and the EU in June, New Zealand Herald reports.
Baggage handling problems at Heathrow, labor shortages at US airports and last-minute cancellations have led to travel misery. There were even stories of pilots getting out of their planes to help clear the baggage backlog.
Last week there were 14,500 cancellations and 34,000 delays in international airspace according to air traffic monitor FlightAware.
However, this disruption affected passengers unevenly. You can escape the chaos if you choose the right airline, the right route and the right time to travel.
The best times to travel
According to data from FlightRadar24 and OAG cargo on cancellations over the past month, the best times to fly are late morning between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., reported The Telegraph.
Only 0.75% of flights were canceled in the hour before noon, making this off-peak period the safest time to fly.
The risk of cancellation increases for later flights. From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., an average of 138 flights were canceled, or about 3%.
The best day to fly
Saturday is the best time to fly, according to the data. With only 157 canceled starts, it’s a much better bet than Sunday.
Sunday was no rest day for those organizing trips with 256 flights canceled from the UK. Two percent of all robberies were grounded, making it a day to avoid.
The best and worst airlines to fly with
Looking at the delays and cancellations in Flightaware’s data, some international airlines were less affected by the disruptions than others. Looking at last week’s on-time arrivals.
Japanese airline All Nippon Airlines was the most reliable, with less than 10 planes (less than 1%) canceled per day. This is on top of an impressive on-time record of 97%.
Turkish Airlines also performed well, canceling less than one in 380 flights, despite 735 late flights.
Ryanair and easyJet all managed an impressive cancellation rate of less than 1%, but they faced significant delays.
Ryanair and easyJet have seen between 20 and 40% of flights delayed by more than 30 minutes. That is an average of around 600 late flights per day.
China Eastern and Tianjin Airlines saw 16% and 28% of flights canceled, or around 500 flights per day.
However, it was Spring Airlines that had one of the worst performance records.
In the past three days, almost 50% of its international flights have been canceled.
June was a bad month for KLM
The Dutch carrier recorded a whopping 5% cancellation rate in June. The disruption was so severe that the carrier stopped selling flights to Amsterdam Schiphol earlier this month to reduce overcrowding.
On this side of the world, New Zealand recorded a disruption rate of 14% last week, compared to 21% for Jetstar and 15% for Qantas.
The best and worst airports for disruptions
Disruptions at New York airports saw La Guardia facing highs of 17% of daily flights canceled and Newark Liberty suffering around 14% of international flights canceled. JFK, however, managed to navigate with 96% of daily flights taking off.
London’s disruption was felt worse at some airports than others, according to data from FlightRadar24. London Stansted in the North East has seen the fewest cancellations with just 1 in 720 services axed.
London City Airport was the hardest hit, with the city center airstrip in London’s docklands seeing an abyssal runway on 33 – or 3% – of canceled flights.
Even in the most affected cities, some travel hubs were moving faster than others.
This article originally appeared on New Zealand Herald and has been republished with permission
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