Swadian
Topic Author
Posts: 557
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:56 am

Most Popular Long-Haul Leisure Days / Times

Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:07 pm

What are the most popular flight times / dates for long-haul leisure? If it takes the better part of a day to get somewhere, what days of the week do travelers prefer? Any statistics out there?
 
leftcoast8
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:59 am

Re: Most Popular Long-Haul Leisure Days / Times

Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:00 pm

Late July through the end of August, if I had to guess, is a big leisure period (at least in the Northern Hemisphere).

  • Europe shuts down for the summer, long holidays in July/August are particularly popular in France, Spain, and the Scandinavian countries (many families in Sweden, Norway, etc. have summer homes in the north where there are fewer mosquitoes). In the UK it'll be the end of term at schools so families will holiday to the south of Spain, Canary Islands, Greece, Cyprus, some go to Australia or South Africa, etc. It helps that in Europe, you're guaranteed at least 4 weeks vacation by law, whereas in the U.S. employers are allowed to give you zero vacation time (apart from statutory holidays)
  • In the U.S./Canada (which do not have year-round schooling like the rest of the world) most of the kids are on summer vacation so it's a popular time for family trips. Culminating in the Labor Day long weekend at the beginning of September
  • Japan has the Obon period in mid-August where people visit their ancestral homelands, as well as the national high school baseball championships
 
Swadian
Topic Author
Posts: 557
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:56 am

Re: Most Popular Long-Haul Leisure Days / Times

Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:13 pm

No, I meant days of the week and times of those days. Not seasons of the year. For example, Friday vs Saturday, Saturday morning vs afternoon, etc..
 
leftcoast8
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:59 am

Re: Most Popular Long-Haul Leisure Days / Times

Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:06 pm

Swadian wrote:
No, I meant days of the week and times of those days. Not seasons of the year. For example, Friday vs Saturday, Saturday morning vs afternoon, etc..


Oh, sorry. But thank you for clarifying.

I was interested in this question myself, so I took a look at the popular sun-and-sand destinations here at YVR (Hawaii, Palm Springs, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta).

  • Hawaii has two banks. One is dinnertime (5-6pm) departure, mid-late evening arrival in Hawaii. Return trips are turned around very quickly, and are timed for a 6-7am arrival at YVR.
  • The second Hawaii bank is mid-morning departure, mid-afternoon arrival in Hawaii. Return trips are timed for a 10pm-midnight arrival at YVR, which is the last burst of activity for the night (excluding the middle of the night departures to TPE/MNL/HKG)
  • To Palm Springs/PSP, there are two departures (one AC, one WS) between 9:00-9:30 am, arriving at PSP btwn 12:05-12:20 pm. Turnaround time is less than an hour and the return flights are timed for a 4:00 pm arrival at YVR. There is one later WS departure at 12:30 pm, for a 3:30 pm arrival, and the return flight gets into YVR at 7:00 pm.
  • The vast majority of flights to Cancun leave YVR between 8:00-10:00 am, getting to CUN btwn 5:00-7:00 pm. Return trips leave in three departure banks: 4:40-5:00 pm (8:20-8:45 pm arrival), then six weekly WS/Air Transat departures at 6:45 pm (10:20-10:30 pm arrival), and a final bank btwn 7:30-8:30 pm (11:00 pm-midnight arrival)
  • Puerto Vallarta is similar, except on the return trip, the banks are 4:25-4:30 pm (7:35-7:45 pm arrival), 5:50-7:00 pm (9:00-10:00 pm arrival). Sunwing has 1 rotation/week getting in at 5:00 pm, WestJet has 1/week getting in at midnight.

Days of departure are all over the place. In a congested airport like YVR, often you just have to accept whatever slots you get. However, for the 1-2x/week rotations, a Friday or Saturday departure is common, with a Saturday or Sunday arrival back at YVR. Due to flex time many workers in Canada (especially professional workers) can get a Friday or Monday off. This makes Fridays and Saturdays very popular for departures. As an aside, most people go to Mexico all-inclusives for 4 nights/3 days, 5 nights/4 days, or more rarely 8 nights/7 days.
 
Swadian
Topic Author
Posts: 557
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:56 am

Re: Most Popular Long-Haul Leisure Days / Times

Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:13 am

Thanks for your analysis.

So it seems Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings are gonna be most popular, and Sunday afternoons for the return? What would route planners do if there were no slot restrictions, and the flight were long enough to "lose a day" regardless of schedule? This might apply to some long north-south route with 8+ hrs flying time and little or no time zone change, though I can't think of any off the top of my head.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BritTraveller, IPFreely, qf789 and 10 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos