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For many of us, flying is the preferred mode of transportation when traveling relatively long distances. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, however, flying has its challenges, one of which can be delays.

Statistics show that on average, about 21% of all flights in the country are delayed, canceled, or diverted. Experiencing such an inconvenience is one of the dreaded experiences for frequent travelers, so here are some tips on how to reduce your risk of being part of this statistic.

Go for non-stop flights

You have a better chance of being on time if you are on a non-stop flight since you’re only dealing with one aircraft.  Connecting flights have at least two planes involved, coming from different places, so your risk of delay is multiplied.

Fly in the morning

Research and evaluation on flight times has found that morning flights departing between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. are less prone to flight delays. Many times, this will be the first flight of the day for your aircraft, so there are no previous delays for that plane that can snowball into your travel schedule.

Use smaller airports

Smaller airports have fewer logistical challenges that may cause flight delays compared to big ones. The volume of passengers using flights in these airports is much lower, reducing the chances of suffering flight delays. However, flights from smaller airports usually originated at a larger one, so choosing an early flight, versus the last flight of the day, can be advisable.

Avoid airports prone to delays

Sometimes it pays to take note of airports with reputations for delays and avoid using them when possible. In the United States, Newark, LaGuardia, JFK, O’Hare, and Philadelphia are airports known frequent flight delays. On the other hand, Honolulu, Kahului, Las Vegas, and Seattle are some of those with a good reputation for timely flights.

Choose off-peak days

It can make sense to avoid flying during busier times such holidays, where the volume of persons traveling is extremely high. Also, traveling in the middle of the week, such as on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, can reduce the chance of experiencing flight delays.