Assessing Best Times to Catch Flights at Boston’s Logan International Airport

Assessing Best Times to Catch Flights at Boston’s Logan International Airport
By Bill Ordine
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The airline industry has had a dramatic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, at least as far as passenger demand is concerned, but it has been anything but a smooth return in terms of delays and cancellations.

Passengers returning to air travel experienced what were much-publicized spikes in delays and cancellations over the late spring and through much of summer. In the first six months of this year, 24% of U.S. flights were delayed and 3.2% were canceled, according to the Department of Transportation.

Major airports have struggled the most, so we decided to look at the best time to travel when you are departing from Boston Logan International Airport. BetMassachusetts.com utilized the Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report to gather the percentage of delays from Logan Airport (BOS). The reports during the months of May, June, and July (three most recent reports) were averaged to determine the percentages for each time slot.

Once the percentage of flights departing on-time was determined, we created odds in the form of a sports wagering moneyline for that occurrence to happen during that particular time frame.

Of course, Massachusetts sports betting is now legal and will be launched soon.    

How Logan Fared as an Airport

For cancellations over the summer, Boston’s Logan Airport made the Top 10 list among U.S. airports (not a good thing, in this case) for flights that were outright cancelled.

However, there was better news for travelers flying from Logan regarding on-time departures. For the three months included, every approximate hour-long time frame from 6 a.m. through nearly 2 p.m. at Logan had an average on-time departure record of close to 80% or better.

Generally speaking, Boston’s airport had a much better record for on-time departures than the average for New York’s three major airports during the summer.

So, what can a traveler do to help ensure an on-time departure? Admittedly, there’s a lot outside the control of even the airlines, such as weather and staffing issues.  But if travelers have some flexibility in planning an itinerary, selecting a more beneficial time of day – if possible – can improve their odds of an on-time departure.

The Numbers from Boston

Here is a look at the percentage of on-time flights in each hour of the day as well as the corresponding odds.

Depart timePct. Departing on TimeOdds Flight Departs on Time
✈6:00-6:59 AM89.3%-835
✈7:00-7:59 AM86.7%-652
✈8:00-8:59 AM81.7%-446
✈9:00-9:59 AM80.1%-403
✈10:00-10:59 AM78.6-367
✈11:00-11:59 AM78.9%-374
✈12:00-12:59 PM78.7%-369
✈1:00-1:59 PM78.0%-355
✈2:00-2:59 PM71.3%-248
✈3:00-3:59 PM65.1%-187
✈4:00-4:59 PM56.2%-128
✈5:00-5:59 PM62.7%-168
✈6:00-6:59 PM60.8%-155
✈7:00-7:59 PM58.2%-139
✈8:00-9:59 PM50.4%-102
✈9:00-9:59 PM56.0%+127
✈10:00-10:59 PM55.0%+122
✈11:00 PM-5:59 AM88.2%-747

 

Early Birds Catch Flights on Time

Not surprisingly, the earlier in the day a passenger can catch a flight, the better the chances of getting an on-time wheels-up.

At Logan, the 6 a.m.-6:59 a.m. time slot had an on-time percentage of 89.3%, the best for the entire day. Converting to a sports betting moneyline, that percentage translates to odds of minus-835.

A sports team that’s minus-835 is a big favorite. So, getting out of bed in the middle of the night and getting to the airport when it’s still dark has at least the advantage of making the traveler a favorite that their flight is more likely to leave on schedule. 

The next three timeframes, up to 9:59 a.m., had on-time departure of better than 80%. Actually, the on-time percentage for departures hovered near 80% through 1:59 p.m. 

A rule-of-thumb is that the later in the day that a flight is scheduled to depart, the less likely it is to depart on-time. The statistics at Logan and most other airports illustrate that on-time departure percentages started to slide through late afternoon and into the evening.

For Logan, during the three months included, the lowest average on-time percentage for a time-frame was 50.4% in the slot from 8 p.m. to 8:59 p.m. Scheduled evening flights, from 7 p.m. through 10:59 p.m., all averaged below 60% for on-time departures

However, the flights that have been called “red eyes” -- during what is nearly a seven-hour time frame of 11 p.m.-5:59 a.m. -- had a high percentage of on-time departures (88.2%). However, that typically  represents fewer departures.

BetMassachusetts.com will keep you up to date on any major developments on the road to the launch of Massachusetts sports apps.

The site also is a good source for Massachusetts sports betting promos.                            

quote

Contributors

Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

Scroll to top