Skip to Content

These Are The Best Days Of The Week To Fly To Avoid Flight Disruptions

This post may have affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) if you choose to purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure & Privacy Policy for more info.

Share The Article

Last Updated


Traveling this summer has been overrun with a whirlwind of flight delays and cancellations worldwide. Much of the chaos was brought on by overwhelming travel demand in the face of staffing shortages. Airlines have had to make do with the staff that they have, which often leads to delays, cancellations, and lost luggage. As the summer comes to an end, many travelers have held out hope that things will go back to normal, but it doesn’t seem likely. Recently, a collection of U.S. airlines announced they would cut over 30,000 flights this November.

With no end to chaotic travel conditions in sight, it can be helpful for travelers to know how to lessen their chances of getting caught up in a mess. Luckily, a recent study found that there are specific days of the week that have a smaller chance of flight disruptions.

Passengers on a plane

What Factors Drive Flight Cancellations?

According to the study, an airport’s size is one of the main driving factors of cancellations. Airports with higher traffic will be the ones most likely to be plagued with cancellations, with the worst culprits being LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. However, airport traffic isn’t the only factor. The study found that the time of day can have a significant impact on cancellations as well. Most cancellations occur towards the end of the day, between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Air Traffic Controllers at night discussing flight disruptions

What Are The Best Days Of The Week To Fly?

The study analyzed 37,000 cancellations from 400 different airports in the United States. Data collection occurred between May 27th and July 15th amid peak travel chaos. Using this information, the best and worst days of the week for avoiding flight disruptions were as follows:

Worst

  • Thursday
    • 3.6% of total flights canceled
    • 28% of total flights delayed
  • Friday
    • 3.2% of total flights canceled
    • 31% of total flights delayed
Man in airport who is upset because his flight was canceled

Decent

  • Saturday
    • 2.7% of total flights canceled
    • 27% of total flights delayed
  • Wednesday
    • 2.7% of total flights canceled
    • 25% of total flights delayed
  • Sunday
    • 2.5% of total flights canceled
    • 27% of total flights delayed

Best

  • Monday
    • 1.9% of total flights canceled
    • 23% of total flights delayed
  • Tuesday
    • 1.8% of total flights canceled
    • 22% of total flights delayed
Happy plane passenger

As the study showed, the day of the week can significantly impact flight disruptions. Travelers are twice as likely to have a flight canceled flying on Thursday as opposed to a Tuesday, according to the data. Tuesday was the clear winner with the least cancellations and the least flight delays, with Monday close behind. According to the study, the best days of the week to fly are Tuesday and Monday, and the worst days of the week to fly are Thursday and Friday. If travelers have the flexibility to choose which days they can fly, they should aim for the start of the week.

Passengers Transiting Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada

Other Factors To Consider

The day of the week is clearly not going to be the main factor driving cancellations and delays, though it does seem to play a significant role. When travelers fly definitely contributes to potential flight disruptions, but who they fly with and where they fly from can also make a big difference. Recently, we determined the top five U.S airlines with the most delays in July. Allegiant Air was the worst airline for delays, with nearly 40% of their flights being delayed. JetBlue ranked second with 35%, and Southwest was third with 32%.

Allegiant airlines plane flying in a blue sky

Where travelers fly to or from can also have significant impacts on flight disruptions. Between May 27th and July 15th, the five worst airports for cancellations were:

  1. LaGuardia Airport (LGA)- 7.7% of total flights canceled
  2. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) – 7.6% of total flights canceled
  3. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) -5.9% of total flights canceled
  4. Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) – 4.1% of total flights canceled
  5. Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) – 4% of total flights canceled
new york laguardia airport

Travelers should make every effort to investigate their chances of running into flight disruptions this summer and fall. If the summer travel season has shown us anything, it is how chaotic flying is right now. Knowing your passenger rights, the best days and times to travel, and the best airlines and airports to travel with can all help make sure your trip goes as planned.

This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your next trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com

↓ Join the community ↓

The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest reopening news, conversations, and Q&A’s happening daily! 

Travel-off-Path-group-1-1
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS

Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox

Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


Traveling This Fall Will Be Your Best Bet For Saving On Flights
Previous
Traveling This Fall Will Be Your Best Bet For Saving On Flights
Tourists Looking Happy As They Explore Thailand, South East Asia
Next
Thailand To Start Treating Covid Like The Flu From October