Why It Really Pays Off To Be An Early Bird As A Traveler

For some, waking up early isn't a problem. These early risers tend to be out of bed before the rest of us have pushed our first snooze alarm. Many of us have heard the scores of health benefits associated with waking up early, including creating more time in the day to exercise, the ability to fit in breakfast before running to work, and increased concentration (according to Healthline). But the pros to being an early bird don't end with the regular work week. Early risers have an edge on the rest of us drowsy morning travelers.

Heading to the airport, going through security, and eventually arriving at your gate can be an overwhelming process for some travelers. Now just imagine that you're doing all those things at 4 a.m. However, it might pay off to wake up before the sun rises and save your sleep for once you're on your flight. Here's why.

Early bird travelers will likely have a less chaotic airport experience

Early risers have the edge on average travelers who can't imagine waking up early for a flight. With boarding typically occurring 45 minutes before your flight is scheduled to take off, you need to create some padding in your schedule. Additionally, if you're flying at peak times, checking a bag, or taking an international flight, you'll need to get to the airport even earlier than you probably initially planned, according to Skyscanner.

However, Skyscanner suggests that flights between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. can still be great options for those wanting to avoid packed airport crowds and can't get themselves out of bed super early. Depending on how far away your airport is, you will probably still need to wake up earlier than when your last alarm goes off during the work week, but you can relish in a couple more hours of sleep.

Early birds are less likely to get stranded at the airport

If you book an afternoon flight, you're more likely to see flight cancellations or delays. No one wants to be stuck wondering what to do when their flight has been canceled. That said, booking a flight that has a high probability of being canceled or delayed is one of the major airline booking mistakes you didn't know you were making.

Just because you haven't received a notification that your flight has been delayed does not mean it will be exactly on time, however. Although Delta was the most on-time airline in America in 2019, Cirium, who tracked airlines' performances, noted that "on time” meant that the plane arrived no later than 15 minutes after its original estimated time. Thus, you could still find your itinerary complicated by an "on time" arrival.

It goes to show that arriving sooner rather than later is always the best practice for flying. If you can muster up the courage to set your alarm earlier than usual, book that morning flight and avoid the heavy airport crowds. When it comes to traveling, do your best to channel your inner early bird.