Having a delay on a flight can be really irritating and annoying. If it is just a short delay then it does not cause too many problems but some flights get delayed for long periods and this can mean that you lose valuable holiday time or return home late and miss work, school or other things. Although some people do not mind and enjoy getting the compensation that can sometimes come as a result of a delay, many people would just prefer to be on schedule. It is therefore best to avoid delays if you can. You may think that delays are unavoidable and obviously they are unpredictable. However, there are some circumstances that make delays more likely and so planning a flight could help you to avoid it.
Avoid peak times
There are some times of the year when a lot of people fly. These times will change from country to country, so if you are investigating when airports and flights will be busiest then bear in mind both the country that you are going from and the one that you are going to as they could vary. The reason that there are more likely to be delays at peak times as there are more flights and more people to manage. If one flight is late it has a knock on effect on others and if there are fewer flights or fewer people to get on and off flights, this effect is not so exaggerated if there are fewer people and fewer flights. You may also be able to find spaces on alternative flights if yours is cancelled if the flights are generally less busy.
Avoid times when weather is bad
It is wise to think about the weather when considering flying somewhere. Flights can be grounded by bad weather, particularly ice and snow. Therefore think about what the weather is likely to be like when you fly, in the country you are leaving from and your destination. If possible plan your trip when the weather is going to be warmer, but also be aware of windy weather and summer storms as these could cause problems as well. Do some research before you book up so that you can work out whether there is a risk of extreme weather causing flight delays or not. It should not be too tricky to find out about the local weather at different times of the year so that you can time your flight as well as possible so that you can avoid the weather conditions that are likely to lead to flight delays.
Check if strike action is due
If there is some sort of strike then this could cause delays and even cancellations. Strikes are decided on in advance and so if you are booking up quite close to when you are travelling you should be able to find out when they are and avoid them if you can. Just keeping an eye on the news should help, but if the airline is foreign or the strike action is taking place in a foreign airport then it may not get coverage on the news in the country you are checking it on. Therefore it can be wise to check with the airline as well or see if you can find airline strike news which is more international rather than just applying to your specific country.
Choose your airline carefully
There could be some airlines that are more likely to have delays as others. Do some research online about it and you could find that there are some website which have information about this. If you have a choice of airlines it means that you will be able to pick one that seems to have a record for having less delays than the others.
Book last-minute so you can check for delays
If you can book last-minute it means that you will be able to check to see if there are likely to be any delays. You can check the weather as well as any potential strike action and that should help. Also if there are big delays with a certain airline or at a certain airport then you can avoid that one as they could still be catching up for a while. Obviously not everyone can book last-minute but if you can then there can be some advantages with regards to avoiding delays.
There is still no guarantee that you will not have a delayed flight. However if you have time to do some research and you can book last-minute then you have a better chance of not having a delay. However, if you do not get a chance to do this, then you will be better off just preparing for the worst and making sure that you are ready for a delay and then if it does happen it will not be so bad.