You’ve seen the news: the crazy long lines at airport check-ins and TSA, photos of lost (delayed) passenger luggage, industry strikes, and canceled (delayed) flights. Whew! What a mess, but it isn’t stopping travelers who have waited a few years for the world to reopen and the ability to explore.
Over the Fourth of July weekend numbers for the TSA passenger throughput almost reached pre-pandemic numbers.
Over the past few weeks, clients have experienced delayed or canceled flights, extremely long security lines, and lost baggage. These experiences are disappointing for the traveler but also for me as I only want clients to have the best travel experiences. Even when not booking airfare for a client I try to help resolve these travel pain points, often waiting on hold for several hours trying to find the right resolution and revised itinerary.
So in the spirit of my tips for packing to best manage lost luggage, here are my tips for travel this summer and probably the rest of this year.
Summer Travel Tips (and Most Likely the Rest of 2022)
- If you have to travel and it is less than seven hours, drive. I know gas prices are high but it may very well be a more enjoyable experience.
- Book the earliest flight possible to allow for the possibility of rerouting after delays and missed connections. Morning flights are also less likely to cancel.
- When booking, make sure you schedule a long layover. Yes, this goes against everything I want with quick travel time, but we waited in a security line for an hour and a half with only a 50-minute connection. Luckily they held the plane for us as I believe half the plane was in the same line.
- If there is a nonstop option, take it – even if it is more expensive.
- Get trip insurance. COVID made this a high priority and the need for trip insurance seems to continue. I learned this lesson the hard way. If you aren’t comfortable losing the amount you spent on a trip – GET TRIP INSURANCE.
- Avoid connections in high traffic, hot mess airports.
- Get to the airport early, not normally early, special times early. For international travel that means four hours prior to departure.
- If traveling domestically, consider taking the train as opposed to driving or flying.
- Finally, be calm and be nice. Remember that whomever you are speaking to isn’t the cause of your problem, just your best advocate trying to help resolve it.