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International Flights: Early or Late Departure?

International Flights: Early or Late Departure?

Sep 22nd, 2010, 10:07 AM
  #1  
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International Flights: Early or Late Departure?

For our London trip, we had the option to leave at 5:45pm or 10:00pm. I scheduled the 5:4pm flight to Gatwick.
When we went to Paris in the spring, we took the later flight.
I found the late dinner service got my food cycle all messed up.
So what would you choose? Early or late departure?
Judyrem is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 10:13 AM
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Late departure so I can check into the hotel on arrival, which usually isn't possible at 7:00 am. But I eat before departure and turn out the light at take-off, skipping the dinner service.
kayd is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 10:19 AM
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Late departure, I like to do yoga before I travel and take my time doing last minute things, plus I am a lazy traveler.
cafegoddess is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Just returned from a long distance flight, IAH to FRA, took later flights both directions, I do feel like I was able to 'turn around' easier and suffered less jet lag
Suspaul is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 10:32 AM
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Actually, where I live there are several day flights which arrive in London at night and we usually take those. No worries about trying to sleep on the way over; no real need for any sort of premium seat unless we feel like splurging, etc., but obviously different strokes for different folks.
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 10:38 AM
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From San Francisco to London I take the early flight if I am going onto another city. If going only to London I like the afrernoon arrival as I don't have to spend all day trying to stay awake before going to bed. Coming back I always take the morning flight.
rogerdodger is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 10:40 AM
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Late departure, I like the night flights to Europe, I can sleep better flying if we leave at night.
Sue878 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 10:47 AM
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I choose flights based on which one gets me to the FINAL DESTINATION at the desired time.

If the flight lands at my final destination, I would like it to be in the late afternoon unless I need to do something on the arrival day. The hotel rooms are usually ready and I need to stay awake long enough to have dinner and go to sleep. Arriving in the morning usually means the room is not ready, and I need to stay awake longer. I put change of clothes in my easily accessible part of the luggage and change in the hotel lobby bathroom if I don't want to walk around in the wrinkled up clothes I wore on the plane.

If I need to take ground transportation after landing, I would want the final leg of the flight to arrive earlier in the day so I can get to my final destination before the dinner time.
greg is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 10:56 AM
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It took me a moment to realize that the question was about interCONTINENTAL flights.

I always prefer the flight that gets me to my destination as early as possible, even predawn from the U.S. to Europe or Europe to Asia. I absolutely hate arriving in a foreign country at noon.
kerouac is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 11:19 AM
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I like the later flight. I feel like I get more sleep as I skip the meal and hit the zzz's right away.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 11:38 AM
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If direct from US to final Euro destination, later. More sleep, screws up the kids less.

Perfect plan last year -- take 9:30 flight to LHR with toddler. Put toddler in jammies before flight. Toddler slept all but 45 minutes of flight (nearly all on BigRuss's own corpus).
BigRuss is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 11:51 AM
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I always take the late flight corresponding to my regular sleep time. I arrive fully rested with no jet lag. Fixing my eating cycle is a lot easier than fixing my sleeping cycle.
spaarne is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 11:59 AM
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Like Dukey I prefer the day flights to arrive at night as I don't sleep on planes.
From your two choices I'd pick the later one though and eat before boarding. Plane food is far from my ideal meal at any time of day!
sassy_cat is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 01:12 PM
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For me, the times off arrival to Europe and departure from there (usually off a cruise ship) are more important then leaving or coming home. Wouldn't your food cycle be messed up anyway?
Dayenu is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 01:19 PM
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I like the earlier flights that leave from the US east coast--5:45 or 6:00 because a) the planes usually aren't full since so many people (note the responses above) prefer the later flights. Increases my chances of stretching out. b) we are one of the first flights into the arrival country, which speeds us through immigration--not competing with a lot of flights arriving.

I don't worry about getting into my hotel because I rent apartments but, back in the day when I did use hotels, it was easy enough to stash my stuff at the hotel and go out and wander until check-in. (I usually found that by arriving at the hotel very early they would work to get me into my room early, often telling me to come back around 11:00 a.m. rather than the 2:00 pm check-in.
MelJ is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 01:46 PM
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I have often been able to check into hotels as early as 8 a.m., but of course since I live in Paris, I don't have the problem of arriving in a city with such a high room occupancy rate.
kerouac is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 01:52 PM
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Why arrive late in the day in Europe? Get there as early as possible and start the trip.
Leave the luggage at the hotel even if the room isn't ready. If you leave at 6PM from the east coast, you just need to go ahead and advance your watch 5 or 6 hours, and know that is the rest of that day for you.
Gretchen is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 01:59 PM
  #18  
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Well I will let you know how we feel after this flight.
We are not going to London, but driving to the Cotswolds.
BTW, I e-mailed the owner of our self catering and she said we could get in earlier.
But I do get excited about traveling, and I like to get there ASAP. ;-)
Judyrem is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 02:02 PM
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Just wondering - where did OP Judyrem board her flight for LGW? And did she have to deal with getting to that departure airport in the first place earlier in the day, and where from? Those things play into such choices more than anything else.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 03:12 PM
  #20  
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For sure Dalai, leaving fom ATL;
You don't want to be in rush hour in ATL.
EVER
Judyrem is offline  

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