Airlines are canceling and overbooking flights at a remarkable rate. All the airlines are struggling to meet their current schedules given staff shortages and increased demand. We are seeing a massive number of flight delays, schedule changes, and flight cancelations, beyond anything we’ve seen before!
Covington Corporate Account Manager, Jennifer Roberts shares some summer travel tips to help you prepare for any upcoming flights since it appears these flight delays/cancellations will most likely continue throughout the summer, and potentially into 2023.
- Download the airline app and sign up for notifications by the carrier. This is the best way for the airline to reach you directly with alternate flight information and prevents you from having to sit on hold with a carrier.
- If you can’t miss your meeting/event, fly to your destination the day before your meeting.
- Travel on one of the major carriers (Delta, American, United, JetBlue). They have better reciprocity agreements with each other than with the budget/no-frills airlines.
- Take a nonstop flight. This minimizes the risk of flight delay or cancelation from your connecting city. When a non-stop isn’t available, schedule a long layover.
- Pay extra and purchase a refundable ticket. This allows you maximum flexibility for any flight delays or cancellations.
- Pre-select your seat assignments. Oftentimes, travelers without seat assignments will be the first to be involuntarily bumped from a flight.
- Pack a change of clothes and essential items, such as prescriptions in your carry-on.
- Purchase travel insurance. Policies cover unexpected expenses such as hotel and change fees when the airline isn’t liable.
While at the airport:
- Security lines will be long. Arrive at the airport 2 hours before your domestic departure and 3 hours before your international departure.
- Pack light and remember TSA’s 3-1-1 carry-on rule. If you are not TSA-PreCheck, CLEAR, or Global Entry, you will need to remove your shoes, belt, laptop, and liquids before the screening.
- Be patient. Everyone is anxious to travel after being cooped up at home and even the most experienced “road warriors” are rusty.
What do you do for flight cancelations?
- Check your phone and see if the airline app is providing an alternate flight. Sometimes these cancelations will hit your phone before they hit the gate.
- Get in the customer service line immediately – simultaneously call your travel agent. Find a shorter line at another gate. Flights fill up fast, so you want to move quickly!
- Try to accept the alternate flight option given by the carrier, as there may be very limited alternate options, without having to purchase an entirely new ticket at a high, last-minute fare.
- Maintain a positive attitude and be patient. Everyone is more willing to help someone who understands and is friendly about the frustration. The airline agents are working hard to try to rebook multiple passengers, including you.
When should you expect airline compensation?
If your flight is canceled, the US Department of Transportation requires airlines to rebook you on their next available service with availability. If that will not work for you, the carrier is required to offer you a refund, even if you purchased a non-refundable ticket. Airlines have the ability to provide compensation and meal/hotel vouchers, in addition to arranging alternative flights. If your delay is more than 4 hours, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
- Flight delays and cancelations due to mechanical or technical issues.
- Flight delays and cancelations due to crew shortage.
- Flight delays and cancelations due to air traffic control.
- Delays and cancellations due to “Acts of Nature” are typically not compensated.
Contact Covington to book your travel and enjoy the peace of mind of having our agents and resources to help you with any summer travel.