How Heat Waves Affect Flying: Why You Should Book The First Morning Flight

Giving yourself plenty of time to get where you are going is more important than ever during the peak summer travel season, and current heat waves around the world are adding another curveball to many travelers’ flight experiences. Because excessive heat can cause several types of issues when it comes to getting planes off the ground and to their destinations comfortably and in a timely manner, aeronautical experts are currently recommending prioritizing early morning flights to reduce potential delays. 

Air becomes thinner and less dense as it heats up, which can have several unwanted effects on how planes work. Planes often need to carry less weight when flying in extremely warm weather because very hot air makes taking off more difficult. Under these conditions, most types of planes need to use more runway space and more speed when taking off because they are unable to produce as much thrust as they normally do, which means that excess weight can hinder these physics more than usual. 

Having to reduce a plane’s total weight often means that passengers will need to be bumped to a later flight to make taking off safely possible. More significant heat issues may cause flights to be delayed to wait for better conditions or canceled if cooler air seems unlikely. Cabins also tend to get uncomfortably warm during these times, especially when delays are announced after passengers have already boarded the plane. 

These potential issues tend to be less common early in the morning, especially when taking the first flight of the day. If bumps or delays do impact these flights, they are likely to be minor in comparison to the inconvenience you may experience later in the day.

With these details in mind, planning both domestic and international flights strategically is key when it comes to increasing your chances of getting to your destination comfortably and on time this summer. Heat waves across the USGreece, and India are just a few of the many heat-related concerns passengers may need to navigate in the coming months.