UK airports have been thrown into chaos following a staff shortage crisis that has left hundreds of thousands of travelers in misery.
Dozens of flights have been canceled in the past month – with holidaymakers seeing dream vacations ripped before their eyes.
While thousands of people have seen their luggage not arrive on time and for many it has simply been lost.
easyJet and TUI have been the main culprits, but they say post-COVID holiday demand has been impossible to keep up with until they have enough staff.
So what’s the best way to get around the chaos of the airport, and how can you ensure you get off the ground without too much hassle?
BEST TIME TO FLY
In data provided by FlightRadar24 and OAG which analyzed flight cancellations between May 7 and June 6, the best time to fly is late morning between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., The Telegraph reports.
Only 28 flights on average were ransacked between 11 a.m. and 11:59 a.m., or 0.75% of flights scheduled at that time, making it the best time to fly.
While 6 p.m. was by far the worst – seeing 138 flights canceled between 6 p.m. and 6:59 p.m.
This represents 3% of all flights that hour.
BEST DAY TO FLY
The data suggests it’s best to catch a flight later in the week.
In fact, Wednesday through Saturday were the best days to avoid airport chaos in the month until June 6.
Saturday is actually your best bet, which has only seen an average of 157 canceled starts.
Meanwhile, Sunday was the worst day to take off – with a monstrous 256 cancellations of UK departures.
This means that 2% of all flights scheduled for that day have been canceled, so it is best to avoid them,
Ryanair is by far the best performing major airline, with just three canceled departures from the UK between May 7 and June 6.
This means only one in 4,366 was pinned to the ground.
Jet2.com also managed to fly past the chaos experienced by other airlines with just five cancellations – one in 1,037.
Turkish Airlines and Brussels Airlines also managed to weather the storm until June 6.
Turkey’s national airline saw only one out of 608 flights cancelled, while the Belgian airline canceled one out of 309 flights.
But avoid KLM at all costs.
In 1,709 flights – the Dutch carrier canceled 87 departures from the UK during the measured period.
That’s a huge theft in 20 (5.1%).
Flybe and easyJet also performed poorly – recording one in 25 and one in 26 flight cancellations respectively.
London Stansted came out on top with the lowest number of flight cancellations.
The airport near Bishops Stortford, Essex, – which serves more than 160 destinations in Europe, Africa and Asia – has not been canceled
Birmingham, Leeds Bradford and Liverpool airports also all performed strongly, with some of the lowest cancellation rates.
And avoid London City Airport if you can, 75 flights have been canceled or one out of 30 scheduled departures has been scrapped.
London Gatwick should also be avoided – the Crawley-based airport had the second worst flight cancellation record with one in 33 getting the axe.
In short, choose a late morning flight rather than an evening flight, fly in the second half of the week but never on Sundays and take Stansted over Gatwick.
Ryanair on easyJet if you’re traveling on a budget and basking in the sun in Croatia or Malta above Italy or Spain.