Fly early in the day
Delays get worse as the day progresses. Even at New York City’s delay-prone John F. Kennedy International Airport, 80 percent or more of morning flights leave on time. But by early evening on most days, timely takeoffs plummet to fewer than half: in August 2008, for instance, only 33.7 percent of flights between 9 and 10 p.m. departed Kennedy on schedule. Hour-by-hour data on departures are available for 32 major airports at airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/reports/index.htm.