Flying out of Phoenix Sky Harbor this summer? Here’s what travel experts want you to know.
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - As Arizonans get ready to celebrate the 4th of July, it’s expected to be a busy travel weekend. This comes as delays and cancellations are reported at airports across the country.
Arizona’s Family spoke to the experts to answer some common travel questions.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW IF I’M FLYING THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND?
Lori Speers with Levarte Travel advises individuals to be patient and prepare for the unexpected. Get to the airport early, she says, and carry on your luggage. With national baggage handler shortages, she advises it’s best to just avoid checking your suitcases. Also, download your airline’s app on your phone and constantly check it, Speers recommends. She says she thinks signing up for the text alerts is a good idea as well.
“If you’re thinking it’s just going to be a two hour flight, be sure to make sure you have an extra set of clothes, snacks, formula... in case you do get stranded,” said Carrie Simmons, the owner of TWK Tours.
For more convenient travel tips, courtesy of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, click here.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY FLIGHT GETS CANCELLED?
“What your rights actually are?” Speers said. “The airlines are all different. But, they are supposed to protect you on another flight. But, the inconvenient part is it doesn’t have to be that day. It could be two days later, and if you’re trying to make a cruise or a wedding, you may miss it.”
Get on the phone with the airline as soon as possible, Speers suggests, and be the first passenger to call. There may be long waits, but sometimes airlines give you the option to get a callback, 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 multiple people, we have one of us there [at the gate] and one of us go down to customer service just so we’re covering our bases,” Simmons said.
If you can be flexible, Simmons says to let the airlines know you are flexible and can possibly travel on another day. Also, try to get on the first flight of the day. Simmons says it’s less likely to get canceled and you have the rest of the day to look for another.
WHAT IS CAUSING THE DELAYS AND CANCELLATIONS?
Speers says she’s been in the industry for 40 years and has never seen anything like what’s going on now. She thinks it boils down to pilot shortages and some crews timing out of the hours that are governed by the FAA.
“Because there is a shortage and there’s a shortage in how much they can work,” she said. “Just put that together and you are going to have canceled flights because of crew. And then if you add any weather component to it? It’s a real disaster.”
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