This blog post was updated on August 11, 2021.
For many people, traveling is about making compromises. Though you might be able to save money with a certain flight, it’s very likely that you’ll have to sleep on the plane or have a large layover in exchange for the low price. For this reason, it’s understandable that you might want to focus instead on which flights are most convenient.
Those looking to avoid the large crowds both at the airport and on flights should instead focus on the times of day that are least crowded. To help you understand which times of the day are most efficient for avoiding crowds, we’ve scoured the internet to find you the least crowded flight times.
The Best Time to Fly Crowd-Free
If you’re looking to fly without experiencing huge crowds, you should be aiming for flights that leave anywhere between 7 and 8 in the morning. Many airports are located within or close to cities that don’t begin lifting noise limitations until around 5 or 6 in the morning, so there quite a bit of flights taking off and landing just before 7 am. On the other hand, many airports also see the majority of their flight traffic between 10 and 11 in the morning. By booking a flight that leaves between 7 and 8, you’ll be able to sandwich yourself in-between two busy times at the airport to make sure that you don’t run into massive crowds.
Another reason why flying in the morning is beneficial is that there are often less delays in the morning than there are at later times during the day. In order to decrease the chances of delays happening to your plane, it’s important to take off before 8 am. This is due to the varying amounts of air traffic — with more planes on various runways, the chances of human error or technological issues holding up a given flight increase.
Be Aware: You’ll Still Be Making Some Compromises
Though you will likely find a more cheap plane tickets that take off between 7 and 8 in the morning than you would later in the day, it’s important to note that you will still be dealing with inconvenience with an early rise. Many airports require you to be there at least two hours before your flight, so it’s perfectly possible that you will have to get up at 4 or 5 to be at the airport on time.
That being said, most people will prefer the inconvenience of am early wake up over having to be surrounded by lots of other people and fighting through crowds, so they don’t mind making the compromise.
Alternative Times to Fly with the Least Amount of People Around
If you are not able to travel during the early morning, it’s important to know alternative least crowded flight times. For many airports, the most busy time of operation is during the workday (between 8 am and 5 pm). Crowds often begin tapering off around 6 pm with some of the least busy times being in the late evening. If it’s at all possible to leave in the evening, we recommend taking a flight at around 9:30 pm or later.
Of course, this comes with the associated consequence of having to either get to your destination late at night or sleep on the plane, but avoiding the crowds is the main benefit of these travel times. On top of the late travel times, you will be able to arrive at an airport that is almost entirely empty, allowing you to avoid the crowds as you land!
Do you prefer to fly when it’s not crowded? Have some tips or tricks on finding the least crowded flight times? Tell us about them in the comments section below!