The surprising weather conditions that could delay your flight – and ruin your holiday

A PILOT has revealed why summer weather could mean more flights being cancelled.

Most people assume that clear, sunny days offer the best conditions for flying, but if it’s too hot there could be a problem.

Thinner air makes it harder for planes to take off


Thinner air makes it harder for planes to take offPhoto credit: Getty

The heat thins the air, which reduces the lift that planes need to take off.

The warmer the temperature, the more difficult it becomes for an aircraft to climb to cruising altitude.

Kathleen Bangs, a former airline pilot and now spokesperson for FlightAwaresaid that colder days are actually much better for flying.

she said Japan Times: “The hotter and more humid the surrounding air, the more the performance of aircraft engines and wings drains.”

“Aircraft perform best in cool or cold temperatures when air density increases.”

Bijan Vasigh, a professor of economics and finance at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., explained exactly at what temperature planes will start having problems.

And with scorching temperatures already affecting travel in Europe this summer, it could quickly become a bigger problem.

He added: “When the temperatures exceed 39 degrees Celsius, it becomes really problematic for the airlines.”

Other pilots have previously urged passengers to book flights that depart earlier in the morning when the air is at its coolest.

This can also result in flights being less turbulent and making it easier for the aircraft to take off.

Pilot Jerry Johnson explained that the air changes throughout the day and as a result flights are often rougher in the afternoon.

He said Reader’s Digest: “If you are a nervous flier, book a morning flight.

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“The warming of the ground results in bumpier air later and thunderstorms are much more likely in the afternoon.”

While flights might be rougher in warmer temperatures, they are still perfectly safe.

Pilot Eser Aksan E told Sun Online Travel: “It’s going to be thrown around, people are falling and stuff like that. That’s the biggest problem for people when there’s turbulence.”

“That’s why people get hurt, but damage to the aircraft isn’t common.”

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Meanwhile, this flight attendant revealed the dangerous reason why you should never change seats on a plane without telling her.

And another flight attendant explained why you could be upgraded to first class in the back of the plane.

When the weather gets too hot, pilots can find it harder to fly (stock image)


When the weather gets too hot, pilots can find it harder to fly (stock image)Photo credit: Getty

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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