We've all seen the video of the crowds at airports this summer, as thousands of flights are canceled and delayed every weekend.
Lines often stretch for hours as desperate travelers try to rebook their flights.
They are calling it the summer of the "flightmare," with canceled flights and stranded passengers now becoming the norm.
And no airline is safe: Even American and Delta are now canceling flights due to crew shortages and over-scheduling.
So what can you do to improve your odds of getting to your destination on-time?
Thrifty Traveler.com say there are things you can do to better your luck.
- Pick an early morning flight. Delays tend to domino later in the day.
- Avoid late afternoon thunderstorm delays by flying in the morning.
- Avoid connections: An extra stop doubles your chance of a cancellation or delay.
Savvy travelers may also want to scope out your airline's on-time schedule the days before the flight, to see if it usually departs on time.
If your flight number has already been canceled once or twice this week, it may be canceled again for you. Have a contingency plan.
No guarantees of an alternate flight
But from the "doesn't that stink" file, why there's no guarantee you can simply hop the next flight if yours is canceled.
The problem, according to Thrifty Traveler,is that most flights are full this summer.
That means the next flight, and the one after that, may have no seats for you, which stinks, because you may have to wait until the next day to travel.
So make sure your airline's phone number is on speed dial: you may need it.
And if you are flying to catch an overseas flight out of New York or Boston, you may want to travel to your departure city the day before just to be safe.
Bottom line: get to the airport early, so you have a head start over other passengers if there is a delay, so you're better prepared, and you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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