Never fly at night with these airlines

Often a late-night flight gets you the cheaper airfare. It may also be the solution to arriving at your destination less prone to jet lag and ready to hit the ground running. But they’re also the flights most likely to experience big delays and throw a major spanner into your travel plans, says analysis of Bureau of Transportation Statistics by FiveThirtyEight.

Late aircraft are the most common cause of flight delays, and most flight delays are around or after 6pm. By the end of the day, it’s more difficult for an airline to ‘fix’ a late flight, which can lead to passengers being stranded overnight.

flying at night

The analysis also shows that “weather-related delays are highest between 3pm and 11 pm, when thunderstorms are more likely to form”.

The first flights of the day are pretty much the only ones guaranteed to depart on time, because there are no planes before them to hold them up and air traffic is less crowded.

While it’s not exactly dangerous to fly with these 30 airlines after 6pm, your likelihood of delayed or cancelled flights increases exponentially after 6pm.

So, the airlines with the poorest on-time performance on the AirHelp Score Global Airline Rankings are more likely to be the ones you want to steer clear of when flying at night.

Airlines with the lowest on-time performance, according to AirHelp:

  1. Kuwait Airways
  2. Laudamotion
  3. TAP Air Portugal
  4. Air Malta
  5. Air Transat
  6. Air India
  7. Czech Airlines
  8. El Al Israel
  9. Vueling
  10. Icelandair
  11. Transavia
  12. Wizz Air
  13. Asiana
  14. Brussels Air
  16. Lufthansa
  17. Ryanair
  18. Air Canada
  19. Eurowings
  20. Air France
  21. Swiss International Air
  22. Air China
  23. Ethiopian
  24. Adria
  25. easyJet
  26. Aer Lingus
  27. LOT Polish
  28. Avianca
  29. China Eastern
  30. Korean Air

Have you flown with any of these airlines? How did they perform? Were they on time? If you experienced a delay or cancellation, were you satisfied with how the airline handled it?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Related articles:
2019’s most dangerous airlines
Stay away from these airlines
Most common cause of delays

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


Airline update: Most dangerous airlines

AirlineRatings' releases its list of the safest and least safe airlines of 2019.

World’s worst airlines and airports

Passenger rights group AirHelp ranks the world's best and worst airlines and airports.

Study reveals the most common causes of airport delays

Who knew beards would cause so much damage to our holidays?