Thousands of flights were canceled or delayed over Father’s Day weekend, with chaos at airports in the US and abroad signaling a summer of discontent for travelers. Airlines, which are difficult to operate in the best conditions, are now also facing severe staff shortages, just as passengers return in droves as the pandemic subsides.
“We’re used to navigating weather delays in the summer, but this massive travel boom combined with weather and staffing issues at airports and airlines has made it a much more complicated landscape,” said Misty Belles, a travel expert and spokesperson for Virtuoso, a global network of travel consultants specializing in luxury experiences.
So what can you do to minimize the frustrations? Travel professionals recommend some tricks of the trade to make air travel less tedious this summer.
Book through the airline
If you book your ticket directly through an airline, you can get more effective customer service and faster rebooking if needed. To see also : Five ways to survive air travel this summer. In contrast, airlines tend to be less helpful when your travel arrangements are made through online aggregators such as Expedia or Priceline.
“There’s never been such an important time to book directly with the airline. When you book through a third party and you need to rebook, the airline says, ‘Go to them,'” Willis Orlando, travel expert at Scott’s Cheap Flights , CBS told MoneyWatch. “They also have less robust customer service than an airline.”
Even though it may seem like forever to contact an airline customer service representative, once you do get in touch, they can usually resolve the issues.
“With online travel sites, there’s an extra layer of communication and policy, and you don’t always owe the same as when you book through the airline,” Orlando added.
Catch the first flight of the day
Another rule of thumb is to always book the first departing flight of the day so that it is more likely to leave on time, even if it is $50 or $100 more expensive than other fares. See the article : Crew Works Biomedical Science and Hologram, Robotics Tech.
“Take the first morning flight,” said Belles of Virtuoso. “It’s painful to get up at 4 in the morning, but those flights are less likely to be bumped as the day goes on and back up.”
In addition, bad weather typically disrupts operations later in the day, she added.
For added security, purchase a second, fully refundable ticket for a flight scheduled two to three hours later. If your first flight is canceled or significantly delayed, call the airline and request a full refund — then hop on the second flight.
When you arrange a reserve flight, you book through another airline and try to use airline miles or points, which go straight back to your travel bank if you cancel the flight.
“When you book tickets with airline miles, you benefit from a refundable ticket without paying for it. You can get your miles back into your account,” says Melissa Biggs Bradley, founder of Indagare Travel, a luxury travel planning company.
On a recent trip, Bradley flew from New York to Venice, Italy, then drove an hour and a half to Slovenia, rather than flying via Paris or Amsterdam to a regional airport closer to her final destination. This may interest you : Air travel was mixed on weekends and issues are expected to continue. And she’s glad she did.
“Other people went through Paris or Amsterdam and connected and had huge lines, huge problems with bags and worries about flight cancellations,” she said. “They would have been much better off going to a major airport a little further out and taking that ride.”
Direct flights are, of course, more expensive than connecting routes, but they reduce the chances of something going wrong and disrupting your long-awaited vacation.
“Avoid connections. If there are two or three legs, you double or triple your chances of running into a problem,” said James Ferrara, co-founder and president of InteleTravel, a network of 75,000 independent travel consultants. “The more you can connect, the lower the price, so it’s not an option for everyone.”
If you have to use connecting flights, don’t even think about a 45 minute layover. Give yourself at least two hours, or more.
Upgrade to be first in line
Once you’ve booked your flight, download your airline’s mobile app and enable text messaging to receive flight alerts. Also join the airline’s frequent flier program.
“All those things will help you get information faster,” Ferrara said.
Consider upgrading to a premium seat if one is available. Indeed, the better your reputation with the airline, the more priority you will be given when it comes to rebooking a canceled or significantly delayed flight.
“If seats are overbooked or flights are cancelled, seats on new aircraft will be allocated based on your status on that first aircraft. First class, business class and passengers with higher miles will be rebooked first. You will be seated before the person in the back the plane did,” Bradley said.
If you work with a travel consultant, they will take the rebooking process off your hands and advocate for you. And it won’t cost you anything as their fees are paid by airlines and hotels.
Travel on a Wednesday
If you are traveling for an event such as a wedding or sports tournament, plan to arrive a few days in advance if possible. Building a cushion for two to three days leaves room for canceled flights or other travel accidents without missing the main event.
“Don’t count on flying and arriving the same day,” Bradley said. “Build in a buffer and you’ll get there.”
Take an extra day off from work and fly on a weekday if possible. Also avoid flying between Friday and Monday, experts say.
“The most important thing right now is not to fly on weekends. At least that’s what weekends will look like all summer,” Ferrara said, referring to the recent chaos at airports.
Only bring carry-on
If possible, avoid baggage check-in, avoiding long lines for baggage drop-off at airports. Bradley urges her clients to continue or leave. If your flight is canceled and you have your bag with you, you are also more agile.
“You can jump on another flight, whereas if your bag is in the belly of the plane, it takes longer to maneuver and get yourself on another flight,” Bradley said. “I’m a big believer in never checking your bag.”
How do you stop migraines?
7 Tips to Relieve Migraine Pain
- Rest in a quiet, dark room. Many people with migraines report sensitivity to light and sound, which can exacerbate headaches. †
- Apply a warm or cold compress to your head or neck. †
- Hydrate aggressively. †
- Massage your temples. †
- Try to meditate. †
- Smell the lavender. †
- Prevent attacks by exercising.
What is the main reason for migraines? The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but they are thought to result from abnormal brain activity that temporarily affects nerve signals, chemicals, and blood vessels in the brain.
Why am I suddenly getting migraines?
Migraine triggers. Many possible triggers for migraines have been suggested, including hormonal, emotional, physical, nutritional, environmental, and medicinal factors. These triggers are very individual, but it can help to keep a journal to see if you can identify a consistent trigger.
Can you suddenly get migraines? Bright or flashing lights can trigger migraines, as can loud noises. Strong odors — such as perfume, paint thinner, secondhand smoke, and others — trigger migraines in some people. Sleep changes. Missing sleep or getting too much sleep can trigger migraines in some people.
When should you be concerned about migraines?
â€œWhen the headache is the worst headache of your life, or when it is accompanied by fever, neck stiffness, weakness or numbness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking, loss of consciousness, confusion, loss of vision or any other neurological symptom , it’s serious,” says Alexander Mauskop, MD, the founder and…
Why am I getting more migraines recently?
Every person who has migraines has different triggers, but common ones include lack of sleep, caffeine, and stress. Most people who get chronic migraines are women. This may be because hormone changes are another known cause.
What causes migraines in females?
There are a number of triggers for migraines, including: Hormonal changes in women. Fluctuations in estrogen, such as before or during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, seem to trigger headaches in many women. Hormonal medications, such as oral contraceptives, can also make migraines worse.
What does migraine do to the brain? But during a migraine, these stimuli feel like a total attack. The result: The brain produces an outsized response to the trigger, the electrical system firing on all cylinders. This electrical activity causes a change in blood flow to the brain, which in turn affects the brain’s nerves and causes pain.