These travel hacks can save your journey from chaos

Travel became particularly difficult during the pandemic.  According to Expedia's analysis, some of the ongoing chaos may finally settle down.

Early birds get the worm, and early flights leave on time (usually), according to a new report from the Airlines Reporting Corporation and Expedia.

In particular, the report’s authors found that flights scheduled after 3 p.m. have a much higher risk of being delayed or canceled. Compared to previous flights, the probability of traveling after 3 p.m. is on average 50% greater, according to the ARC report.

The finding is based on data collected between January and August 2022 by Official Aviation Guide, a travel analytics company. It comes along with many other travel tips included in the ARC/Expedia report. Traveling outside rush hour, for example, can be another way to increase your booking reliability.

Flight delays were generally shorter in March and April, averaging about 40 minutes, than in summer. The fall delays were also shorter than those during the summer travel peak, according to OAG data.

But even if you can’t avoid booking an evening flight in mid-July, the good news is that pandemic spikes in general reduce the risk of delays. The peak chaos of flying in the covid era seems to be easing. Between early 2022 and August, flight cancellations dropped from more than 7% of all flights to around 3% in August.

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In addition to avoiding the headaches of delays and cancellations, strategic planning when booking your flight can also save you money. Domestic flights departing on Wednesday are about 15% cheaper than flights departing at the beginning of the week. And if you buy your tickets on Sunday instead of Friday, you can save extra dollars.

Finally, earlier is better in another respect, as traveling far in advance means even cheaper tickets (ie waiting for the price to drop is usually not a good bet). At least a month of buffer time between purchase and departure saves an average of 10% on domestic flights. While six months in advance, or more, is the best place for international travel, according to the report.

With the winter holidays approaching, perhaps these tips can help minimize the inevitable stress of traveling and being with the family. Or you can skip the stress altogether by staying home. Just tell your family you’re doing it for the climate.

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