(NewsNation) — Airports are gearing up for the last summer travel surge of the year.
More than 12 million people are expected to travel over Labor Day weekend, according to travel website Hopper.com. With travelers seeing constant issues like delays and cancellations at airports amid high demand and low staffing, especially during the holidays, Clint Henderson, managing editor of The Points Guy, has some tips on how to make your trip a little smoother.
Have a backup plan
“You should know what other airlines are flying on your route,” Henderson said. “If your American Airlines flight to Dallas is delayed or canceled, you can call American and say, hey, put me on the Delta flight that’s also going in that direction. Sometimes the airlines will do that.”
Use social media, apps
Henderson suggests having the airline’s app installed so if something goes sideways, you can rebook a flight yourself.
“A lot of airlines now have that capability in their apps,” he said.
Following the airline on its social media is also a good idea, as phone wait times can be long.
Being able to be one of the first people to reach customer service can be a game-changer, Henderson said, so sending the airlines a direct message on Twitter or Instagram can get people a quicker response.
“You have to be your own best advocate these days,” Henderson said.
know which airports to avoid
Certain airports can have more delays than others. Some places that have the most include Chicago’s Midway airport, Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Maryland and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, Henderson said.
The state of Florida, because it’s a popular destination, has been a tough place to fly in because “Air traffic control, frankly, is just overwhelmed,” Henderson said.
So when will these travel troubles end? Henderson says it won’t be in the near future.
“All the CEOs, all the analysts are saying they don’t expect it to operationally be back to normal until summer of next year,” Henderson said. “So fasten your seat belts. I think it’s going to be a long fall and holiday season for continued delays and cancellations.”