Flying can take you just about anywhere in the world. It can take you on big adventures and can reunite you with loved ones you don't normally get to see. Unfortunately, to get to your flight, you usually end up spending a lot of time standing in lines at the airport. If you hate lines--and you probably do--here are some of the best times to fly.
In the Morning
Research shows that not only are airports less crowded in the morning, but the first flights of the day are much less likely to be delayed than the flights that take off during the rest of the day. These flights are also less prone to turbulence and are oftentimes cheaper than flights that leave in the afternoon or evening. Try to shoot for a flight that takes off before 10 a.m. if you want to avoid the crowds, as the airports tend to start getting busy after 10 a.m.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays
I can personally attest to the fact that airports are less crowded on Tuesdays. Several times on my way home from a trip to Italy, I found that Milan Malpensa and all of my connecting airports were like ghost towns on Tuesdays, saving me hours of standing in line to get through security checks (not to mention that it saved me several hundred dollars on my plane ticket). Wednesday is also a very slow, uncrowded day for airports, as most people tend to leave for their trips on Friday after work and return on Sunday night or Monday. The only exception to this is the week before Thanksgiving, when Wednesday is one of the busiest flying days of the year.
If you take cruises often, you will have heard of shoulder seasons. These are the periods of time close to the busy seasons that still see good weather in your destination but take place either just before or just after a big rush. Take Spring Break for example. If you travel during this week or two in April or early May, you are almost guaranteed to get hung up in long lines and/or experience delays. If you book a flight a couple weeks before or a couple weeks after the Spring Break rush, you will still be able to enjoy the sunny weather of your destination, but you won't have to waste so much of your time fighting to get through lines to see it.
While shoulder seasons are a less crowded time to fly, low seasons are even better. Low seasons are the times of year when no holidays are happening, no one is taking spring or summer vacations and no one is fighting to get a seat on a plane. Tickets are much cheaper during these low times, and the airports are just less congested in general. The low season typically lasts from November through March in America and Europe, with the exception of the holidays. The only drawback to traveling in this dead period is that your destinations might not be as lively, sunny and pretty as they would be during other seasons, since these are usually colder, drearier months.
On a Holiday
One last tip from USA Today is to forget about the warnings to not travel during the holiday rush and travel on the actual holiday instead. Most people start their journeys a few days before and a few days after the holiday, but if you book your flight for the day of Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc., you are more likely to be going through security at the airport alone. Everyone is already at their destination on these days, so you will have the airport to yourself, and won't have to deal with any of those lines we hate so much.