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Planning summer vacation travel

Planning summer vacation travel? We have tips for making it a happier one

By Stephanie Levy

Spring has sprung, and as Summer approaches so does vacation travel! Each year, nearly four billion passengers travel through airports worldwide, and whether your vacation destination is domestic or international, the time to start booking is now.

There are many articles, such as those by farecompare or airhelp, offering tips and advice for the best times and cheapest or most expensive days to book flights – the starting point for traveling – yet few, if any, address the best or worst days for the in-airport experiences which can sway how positive of a trip you have. What’s worse than being set for a wonderful relaxing vacation destination, only to have a terrible experience at your departing (or returning even!) airport? It can completely change the mood and memory of your travels.

So, to help, we’ve looked into our extensive traveler satisfaction data (86 million passenger feedbacks in 2017 covering the satisfaction of all aspects of the airport experience, from security, baggage reclaim, washrooms, duty free, immigration, and check-in, to wifi and parking) and want to offer some insights into how you can make your travel plans the most enjoyable.

How you can make your travel plans the most enjoyable? Read from HappyOrNot blog.Click To Tweet

Happiest day to fly

Tuesday and Wednesday.
A tie between Tuesday and Wednesday for top spot at 78% passenger happiness. While there aren’t huge differences in the daily rating (lowest being Saturdays at 76%), consider this:

Over 10 million passenger feedbacks were collected per weekday in 2017, and having even a (seemingly insignificant) one percentage point drop in satisfaction means that 100,000 people had an experience that caused them to go from happy to unhappy.

To put this into perspective, the largest stadium in the USA, Michigan Stadium, holds 107,601 people, i.e. just one percentage point drop could fill an entire stadium with unhappy passengers! So, if you want to avoid being in the ‘stadium’, choose a Tuesday or Wednesday.

Happiest day to fly: Tuesday and Wednesday. Read more from HappyOrNot blog.Click To Tweet

Happiest times to be in an airport

Between 5am and 10am.
These hours show happiness of travelers at 80% or above – so if you’re an early bird, or would like to take advantage of fresh-to-work staff and the calm before the majority of passenger traffic begins, it’s recommended to try to get yourself through the airport during these hours.

By contrast, between 12 am and 4 am are apparently quite rough, not reaching over 70% in passenger happiness. What this means, is that even though there are much less people or congestion in the airports at this time, people are generally fatigued to be either traveling or working during these red-eye hours. So while it may be hard to pull yourself out of bed and get to the airport for a flight between 5 am and 10 am, doing so will give you less of a headache.

Happiest times to be in an airport: between 5am and 10am. Read more from HappyOrNot blog.Click To Tweet

Happiest month to travel

If you prefer to make holiday travels in the shoulder or off-season, then good news: you’re also going to have the best passenger experience! Both November and October are the happiest months to travel (82% and 80% passenger happiness, respectively).

Probably not surprisingly, July – the busiest time for air travel – isn’t the most enjoyable month to be in an airport. But, since most people typically take vacations during July, we want to also share advice specifically for July, too.

Happiest month to travel: November. Read more from HappyOrNot blog.Click To Tweet

July – the busiest travel month

Sometimes, it’s not easy to choose exactly when you can start your vacation travel, but, if possible, scheduling to fly the first week of July gives you a better opportunity of having a more pleasant travel experience.

Still, Saturday remains the least happiest day, so arranging your flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays between 7 am to 10 am will save you some stress. Not only that, but according to a recent article by Business Insider on ‘…the exact days to book the cheapest flights in 2018’ the upcoming July 4th, 18th, and 31st (Wednesdays and Tuesday, respectively) are the cheapest days to fly. Bonus!

July is the busiest travel month. Read more from HappyOrNot blog.Click To Tweet

And as a bonus secret: April Fool’s day was the lowest rated day of all of 2017. Coincidence? We’ll let you decide.

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