Sometimes you actually can do something better using just one weird tip, in this case it’s a way to avoid flight delays.

Well, it’s really not weird but there is a single thing you can do to help avoid delayed flights.

Rock-star statistician Nate Silver analysed numbers in the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which keeps on-time data on every domestic flight flown by the 14 largest U.S.-based airlines, and was able to figure out what it was that you can do to increase your chances of catching flights that are on-time, and how to avoid the ones that are most likely to be delayed.

Here is a graph that shows the average delay for domestic flights the US, in minutes.


He also took a look at the causes of delays, and it is there we find the key to the tip we are about to give you.


The lines show the average minetues of delay caused by various factors, and it turns out that other late aircraft are the main source of delays, and this gets worse as the day goes on, with a peak at around 6 in the evening.

So the solution for you is pretty obvious:

The best time to fly is between 6 and 7 in the morning. Flights scheduled to depart in that window arrived just 8.6 minutes late on average. Flights leaving before 6, or between 7 and 8, are nearly as good. Nate Silver

And that’s all there is to it; to avoid delays, just take the earliest possible flight of the day.

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