Top 10 Early Morning Flight Tips from ex airline employee
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Airline Insider: Early Morning Flight Tips

As an ex-airline employee, there is nothing better than an early morning flight. Delays are less likely and you have more of your first travel day. If you know what you’re doing, you will also enjoy the experience (as much as possible that early). Let’s dig into our Top 10 Early Morning Flight Tips!

Pick an early morning flight (~5-7 am)

Early morning flights have fewer delays

The first flights of the day are more likely to be on time. Aircraft are typically “in position,” meaning there is less potential for any operational delays. Just think — no waiting on connecting passengers, no cascading of flight delays if the flight before yours was running behind, etc. You’re likely the first flight out for that plane and crew.

Less congestion and traffic

When we say “early flights” we mean early. Most cities should not have large traffic delays before 7 am. Less traffic can equal less day of stress and contingency planning.

More time at your destination

You may disagree, but we love getting to the end destination without losing a full day of traveling. It almost feels like free travel time when you leave early in the morning. Suck it up and do it!

Top 10 Early Morning Flight Tips

1. Pack light and smart

Packing light is our first early morning flight tip and means traveling with only a carry-on (using the bin space on the aircraft) and one personal item (fitting under the seat in front of you) for your flight.

You need to be flexible to move fast, and checking a bag could add to your morning routine running behind.

2. Check-in online

If you check-in online, this means you will not need to visit any ticket counter or kiosk when you arrive at the airport. Check with your airline to verify this, of course.

You will know you have successfully checked in when you’re given a digital boarding pass to show to security.

3. Give yourself extra time

This one is not specific to mornings, but flying in general. Don’t cut your timing too short.

4. Consider a hotel near the airport

If you do not live close to the airport, consider staying the night at a property with less commute time or right on the airport property. Your body may thank you when you have less hurdles to jump in the morning.

p.s. In some cases, the combined cost of an additional night’s stay and a morning flight could be less than opting for a more convenient travel time the day before. Before dismissing an early flight, it’s worth exploring this option to maximize savings.

5. Set an extra alarm

Better safe than sorry. Set an extra alarm.

6. Arrange transportation or parking

Know where you will park or what ride you will use ahead of time. Reserve a parking spot at your selected airport parking location, or be ready to call your Uber, or Uber alternative, at the right time.

7. Catch some Zzzzz on the flight

Pack anything you need for sleep somewhere handy (typically in the bag that will go under the seat in front of you). Eye mask, pillow, water, etc.

8. Avoid any airport pit stops

Do not plan to go to the coffee shops in the airport or stop for any last-minute airport purchases. If you end up tight on time, you won’t have time anyway.

9. Pack and organize in advance

This may go without saying, but everything should be in bags and ready to grab. Make it stress-free so you get good sleep the night before.

Leave yourself a “last-minute grab list” to check before you walk out the door in the morning. Things on this list would include — grab the phone charger, pack toothbrush, put Kindle in backpack, etc.

10. Minimize morning-of to-do list

Don’t give yourself anything extra to do. Have everything packed except what you are going to wear in the morning or what you need to be ready to walk out the door.

Bonus Tip. Get through security fast

Have TSA Precheck, Clear, or an expedited pass to get through security faster. If you’re flying out of an airport with a large volume of early morning flights, the regular security lines could get congested.

Takeaways

Embracing early morning flights with our Top 10 Early Morning Flight Tips can be a game-changer for your travel experience, especially if you look to maximize your time at your destination. With fewer delays, less congestion, and the bonus of having more of your first travel day, early flights offer a seamless start to your journey.

Don’t let the early wake-up call deter you; instead, embrace the opportunity for smoother travels and more time to explore your destination.

Peruse more of our expert tip guides and flight tips:

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