Summer is here, and that means it’s time for the annual tradition of flight delays! The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may try to blame weather, but let’s be real- most summer flight delays are caused by sheer incompetence.
According to data from last summer, a whopping 8 percent of delays were caused by airlines. Additionally, about 5 percent could be attributed to problems with the national aviation system. But hey, at least less than 1 percent were weather-related!
The FAA has taken steps to minimize chaos this year by letting airlines operate fewer flights. Because obviously if you have less flights, there will be fewer chances for things to go wrong…right?
But all hope is not lost. It’s important for travelers to know their rights in case of any mishaps. Unfortunately in America, airlines aren’t required to compensate passengers for delays or cancellations. However, all major carriers will rebook passengers on another flight if the situation was under the airline’s control and provide meals after three hours or more of waiting.
There may soon be a silver lining though- President Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg proposed that airlines offer cash payments, meals, and hotel accommodations for carrier-caused slowdowns lasting three hours or more!
In the meantime though, travel advisors suggest considering trip insurance and checking credit card policies on reimbursements for travel mishaps. Monitoring airline apps and opting in for text updates can also help avoid unexpected disasters during your travels.
If you’re someone who frequently flies first class or holds priority status with certain airlines then congrats! You can just skip the line like royalty at check-in counters (because who needs fairness anyway?). And don’t forget about Twitter as an option; many airlines have speedy customer service through this platform.
But let’s say you’re not so lucky – what should you do? Experts recommend calling international phone lines instead of domestic ones when experiencing delays since they’re typically less crowded. Also, self-rebooking online or through the airline’s app can be a lifesaver in unexpected situations.
Ultimately though, it’s all about prevention! Professor Michael McCormick from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University advises travelers to have backup plans just in case things go wrong and to select flights “wisely” by assessing optionsSponsored Product for connecting flights. Avoiding routes that frequently experience weather related cancellations is just common sense.
Another piece of advice is to book flights departing before 3 p.m., as cancellations and delays tend to occur later on. Or why not stay home? According to James Ferrara (founder of InteleTravel), summer holidays are notorious for travel disruptions anyways. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous…consider driving!
To sum it up: airlines can’t seem to get their act together but at least you’re armed with some tips and tricks for your next potentially disastrous flight experience. Safe travels!