PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – As Arizonans prepare to celebrate the 4th of July, it’s expected to be a busy travel weekend. It comes as delays and cancellations are reported at airports across the country.
READ MORE: All eyes are on the airlines as the 4th of July weekend approaches.
Arizona’s Family spoke with the experts to answer some common travel questions.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW IF I TRAVEL THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND?
Lori Speers of Levarte Travel advises individuals to be patient and be prepared for the unexpected. Get to the airport early, she says, and pack your bags. With nationwide shortages of baggage handlers, she advises simply avoiding checking your bags. Also, download your airline’s app to your phone and check it constantly, Speers recommends. She says she thinks signing up for text alerts is also a good idea.
“If you think it’s only going to be a two hour flight, make sure you have an extra set of clothes, snacks, formula…in case you get stuck,” said Carrie Simmons, the owner of Tours TWK.
For more practical travel tips, courtesy of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, Click here.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY FLIGHT IS CANCELLED?
“What are your real rights? Speers said. “Airlines are all different. But, they’re supposed to protect you on another flight. But, the downside is that it doesn’t have to be that day. It could be two days later, and if you’re trying to do a cruise or a wedding, you might miss it.
Get on the phone with the airline ASAP, suggests Speers, and be the first passenger to call. There can be long waits, but sometimes airlines give you the option of a call back, she added. Speers says the most important thing to remember this summer: if you need to be somewhere at a specific time, give yourself a few days to get there. “If I’m with several people, we have one of us there [at the gate] and one of us goes down to customer service just to cover our bases,” Simmons said.
If you can be flexible, Simmons advises letting the airlines know you’re flexible and can possibly travel on another day. Also, try to catch the first flight of the day. Simmons says it’s less likely to be canceled and you have the rest of the day to look for another one.
WHAT CAUSES DELAYS AND CANCELLATIONS?
Speers says she’s been in the industry for 40 years and has never seen anything like what’s happening now. She thinks it comes down to pilot shortages and some crews exceeding FAA-regulated hours.
“Because there is a shortage and there is a shortage in the amount of work they can do,” she said. “Just put this together and you’re going to have flights canceled because of the crew. How about adding a weather component? It’s a real disaster. »
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