Crazy o’clock flights are unsociable, exhausting and can make the start of a holiday incredibly hard work, but sometimes there’s no other option. Sometimes, the only flight you’re able to get on is at 4.15am, or sometimes it’s a total bargain and feels like it’s worth it at the time of booking.
Here are our top tips for easing the pain of late-night flights.
1. Check into an airport hotel
Extend the holiday and avoid a 3am alarm by checking into an airport hotel.
Traffic jams on the way to the airport are a traveller’s nightmare, especially when flying early in the morning or during peak periods. If you want to avoid unexpected traffic or adverse weather – and enjoy a few extra hours of sleep – booking an overnight stay at an airport hotel allows you to arrive at the check-in desk on time and worry free.
2. Ask if a twilight check-in is available
If you’re staying in an airport hotel the night before your flight, some airlines let you do a ‘twilight drop-off’ and drop your baggage the night before. Some flight companies offer this service for their early morning flights, but twilight drop-off times vary for each airline. You get to arrive at the airport the next morning with no suitcases and head straight to security, meaning more sleep, less stress, and better travel experience.
3. Skip the queues by checking-in online
Speed through to security at the airport by checking-in for your flight online. If you have hold luggage, you’ll still need to register your details and print a baggage tag, but it’s still quicker, and if you just have hand luggage, you can glide on through.
4. Grab a little comfort by booking lounge access
It can be hard to find a seat in an airport’s departure lounge, especially early in the morning when people are snoozing across several seats. For a calm and comfy place to enjoy breakfast before boarding, consider paying for lounge access. It’s not always expensive and there’s usually complimentary food and drink to tuck into.
5. Let someone else park your car
Scouring around in the dark for an empty parking space at the airport before an early morning flight is an easy way to dampen the holiday mood. Consider a drive-up and drop-off service – simply drive to the airport, drop your car with the awaiting valet and then head to the check-in desks while your car is safely driven to a nearby security-equipped car park.
How do you prepare for long flights? Do you try to avoid those early morning flights?
– With PA
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