Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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Summer is here and that means lots of folks going on vacation. With the July 4th holiday upon us, many people will be taking to the roads and to the airport. If you’re vacation plans include flying, the TSA here in Charlotte has revealed the best time of day to book your flight.

Over the last couple of years, when flying, most of us get to the airport at least two to three hours before our flight. But sometimes when you fly can make a big difference in how long you spend at the airport.

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances, such as cancellations from the night before or equipment malfunctions, can cause TSA delays, according to The Charlotte Observer. However, there is a window of time during each day that consistently proves to be the busiest.

According to Mark Howell, a regional spokesperson for the Transportation Security Agency, traffic at Charlotte Douglas International usually surges between 6 a.m to 9 a.m. Another surge occurs in the “early afternoon.” Of course, during holidays, the airport experiences a high volume throughout the day. And it’s not surprising that Fridays and weekends are big travel times.

So when is the best time to travel? Although the article doesn’t give specific days and times, my guess is Tuesday-Thursday are the safest bets. I think when it’s a holiday, you’re going to have to deal with a high volume of people, no matter the time. But if you book your flight a few days before the holiday, you may see less traffic.

I’ve flown early in the morning and late at night, and the later flights are less booked. Most of us like early morning flights. You can begin your vacation at your destination as soon as you land. With a night flight, you have to wait until the next day most of the time. But the night flight is a bonus! Less lines and less people!

If you’re flying somewhere for the 4th of July, it’s gonna be busy. I have some friends that are flight attendants. They say if your destination is only a few hours away by car, it may be less of a hassle to drive than fly.

No matter how you travel this summer, be careful and make sure to pack some patience.