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Trending now: How to tackle flight disruption in this United States summer travel time ? – Travel And Tour World



Trending now: How to tackle flight disruption in this United States summer travel time ? – Travel And Tour World

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As the world gears up for a busy summer, a record 4.7 billion people are expected to travel by air. With the increase in demand, the global airline industry is bracing for potential chaos at airports. According to a recent report from Amadeus, “flight disruption remains above historical norms,” and this trend in United States is likely to continue. Here’s what you need to know to prepare and protect your travel plans this summer.

Factors Contributing to Flight Disruptions

Tomasz Pawliszyn, CEO of AirHelp, points out that several factors could lead to flight delays and cancellations. High summer travel demand, airlines over-scheduling, and staffing shortages at airports and airlines are significant contributors. Additionally, Christina Tunnah from World Nomads highlights that climate change, leading to extreme weather, and frequent strikes in Europe are exacerbating the situation.

Daniel Durazo from Allianz Partners USA mentions that aircraft shortages due to production issues at Boeing are also expected to increase the risk of delays and cancellations. With these challenges, it’s crucial for travelers to be prepared for potential disruptions.

Impact on Air Travelers

Travelers are already feeling the effects. Jen Moyse from TripIt reports that 48 percent of respondents in a recent survey experienced flight disruptions such as delays or cancellations in the past six months. This is an increase from the previous year, indicating a growing problem.

Airlines and airports are working hard to minimize disruptions. However, as Pawliszyn notes, the travel industry is still rebounding from the pandemic and now faces additional setbacks due to aircraft safety concerns. For instance, after a panel blew off a Boeing 737-9 Max Alaska Airlines plane mid-flight, dozens of planes were grounded, impacting flight availability.

How to Prepare for Flight Disruptions

Get Travel Insurance

While travel insurance won’t prevent delays, it can help cover the costs of unexpected disruptions. Coverage varies widely between providers and plans, so it’s important to choose a policy that meets your needs. Christina Tunnah advises that some policies cover airline strikes but not staffing issues, and the amount covered can range significantly.

Stay Informed

To stay ahead of potential flight disruptions, download your airline’s app and the FlightAware app. These tools provide real-time updates on flight status and can alert you to delays or cancellations before the airline officially announces them.

Plan for Flexibility

Given the high likelihood of disruptions, build extra time into your travel plans. Arrive at your destination a day or two early if you have an important event. Pack essentials like an extra set of clothes, medications, and snacks in your carry-on.

Book Strategically

Choose early morning flights to increase your chances of rebooking on the same day if your flight is delayed or canceled. Nonstop flights reduce the risk of multiple delays. Research your flight’s track record on FlightAware to make an informed choice.

Know Your Rights

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued new regulations requiring airlines to automatically refund passengers for significant delays or cancellations. However, these rules won’t be in effect until October 2024. Until then, passenger rights for domestic flights are limited, with airlines often providing rebooking, hotel rooms, and meal vouchers at their discretion.

For international flights, passengers have more rights under the Montreal Convention and European Union regulations. These laws require compensation for delays and cancellations, though enforcement can be challenging.

Additional Tips for a Smoother Travel Experience

  • Stay Patient and Polite: The travel industry is still recovering from labor shortages. Patience and civility can go a long way in dealing with service workers and fellow travelers.
  • Document Everything: Keep records of why your flight was delayed or canceled, any compensation offered, and receipts for expenses. This documentation is crucial for filing claims with travel insurance or airlines.
  • Check Country-Specific Regulations: For international travel, familiarize yourself with the passenger rights laws in the countries you’re flying to and from. These regulations can provide additional protections and compensation options.

Flight disruptions are expected to be a significant issue this summer due to a combination of high travel demand, staffing shortages, climate change, and aircraft production delays. By staying informed, planning for flexibility, and understanding your rights, you can better navigate these challenges and protect your travel plans. Remember, patience and preparation are key to making the most of your trip despite potential disruptions.

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