How to Navigate Summer TravelBy Vaughn College
Travelers may need to pack their patience this summer as an estimated 234 million passengers are expected to take to the skies. And, as airport delays tend to occur more frequently in the summer than they do in the winter, savvy travelers should think ahead when planning their vacation destinations.
MileCards.com, a loyalty credit card analyst, sorted out airport on-time arrival data from the department of transportation from 2007-2016 and compiled the on-time ratings for the country’s 50 busiest airports.
Narrowing it down, findings revealed that 40 percent of the top 50 airports have more airport delays in the summer than in the winter, including the popular destinations such as Atlanta, Boston, New York, Orlando, San Antonio, both Dallas area airports, and all three Washington, DC area airports.
Those venturing to Hawaii are in luck, as Kahului and Honolulu top the list for on time summer travel. Other western destinations that ranked among the most favorable were Salt Lake City and Orange County. For the Midwest, Minneapolis and Detroit came in as the best for on-time summer flights.
California tends to be a vacation hot spot, and travelers heading to San Jose and Oakland are good to go, because these two airports come in at numbers eight and 11, respectively, as the best airports for fewest summer airport delays. San Francisco, on the other hand, had more summer delays, partly due to coastal fog and parallel runways.
What airports are doing
No one wants to experience airport delays―customers and airlines alike. In preparation for their busiest season, some airports are instituting the following to assist passengers during a high-traffic time of year:
- Increase operations staff to keep delays to a minimum.
- Increase the number of ambassadors to help passengers navigate seamlessly in and out of the airport.
- Offer mobile phone apps designed to help passengers navigate where they need to be, monitor wait times and keep track of parking.
- Have management work closely with airline partners to ensure facilities are adequately resourced and maintained.
What you can do
Since summer travel airport delays may occur, experts agree that being prepared and having a good attitude are key. Here are some travel tips before you take off:
- Check for waived change fees before you check in.
- Check if there’s severe weather in the forecast.
- Use inflight Wi-Fi to rebook your flight if you think you might miss your connection.
- Book earlier flights that tend to be on-time compared to flights that will leave later in the day.
- Use certain travel credit cards that may offer compensation for delayed flights.
For those traveling with small children, parents may want to pack travel games and snacks to make the time go faster while they wait to board their flight. At the end of the day, it’s all about enjoying a safe summer vacation.