Last week’s warning signs suggest that the busy summer travel season is even more volatile than last year in terms of airline performance. Get ready for the miserable summer of your trip.

The ultimate summer of travel misery is coming: how to prepare

There was optimism that 2022 would be a sign of recovery for the global aviation industry last fall. Reservations for the spring and summer of 2022 remained strong, even when the Omicron variant broke and the world was punished.

Enthusiastic airlines trying to make up for the lost land have loaded up an ambitious schedule that relies on many assumptions, including whether to hire more staff or even cooperate.

But over the past few weeks, the US aviation industry is often more like a card house than a house built on a rock.

Florida’s seasonal storm led to a mini-meltdown at JetBlue last weekend. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines canceled hundreds of flights at the last minute, and Spirit Airlines was forced to cancel more than a quarter of last weekend’s flights (far from last summer’s collapse). However). Even Delta and United Airlines are not exempt, especially for flights operated by SkyWest, a regional partner of both airlines.

Chronic pilot shortages continue to negatively impact operations, and SkyWest is currently in a nearly impossible position as it seeks to shrink its schedule, but has been rejected by US regulatory agencies.


> Read more: U.S. Department of Transport bans SkyWest from ending service and reaching 29 cities


My point is not to scare you, but to help prepare you. I predict this summer will be confusing with frequent reports of delays, cancellations and even meltdowns. Carriers actively try to shorten their schedules to make room for inevitable storms and other complications, but that’s not enough.

There is another problem. The latest strains of coronavirus are not fatal, but they are fairly contagious, and there is a surge in calls for diseases associated with COVID-19. Sadly, even if the pandemic turns into endemic, COVID-19 will be with us for a very long time.

Flexibility is the key – my tips for dealing with summer travel delays

Paid leave can be particularly difficult in the United States. Minutes are important due to the limited time of vacation, and there is little room for error in squeezing vacation from a limited period away from work.

Still, the best thing you can do to manage your travel experience is to be flexible and aware of the delays. Planning ahead makes it easier (at least emotionally) to manage any unavoidable delays or cancellations. It’s often half the battle.

This summer, many will face “irregular flight” and their flights will be delayed. When that happens, your first objection should be to have yourself rebooked immediately.

Imagine a game like a musical chairs game. As historically, flights will be full this summer. When one flight is canceled and everyone is up, the rest of the chairs on the other flights are in a hurry. Some are inevitably left behind.

Watch your flight carefully and make sure you have the latest version of the airline’s mobile app installed. In the event of a disaster, if the system does not do so for you, this will position you as the earliest to rebook yourself.

People waiting on the phone or waiting in line at the airport may have limited options or much longer waiting times for their next flight.

Then, if you rebook, don’t stop checking. Delays and cancellations, even when restricted, basically make the ticket completely flexible. Book whatever you can get, but you can improve it over and over again based on the dynamic space that opens and closes incredibly often.

If you have a booking to your destination on a connecting flight and you experience delays or cancellations, use such an event to push the rebooking of a direct flight. Some airlines may even book you with other airlines. There is no harm in hearing it.

Conclusion

I’m not optimistic, but this will be a smooth summer of air travel. On the contrary, I think it will be even worse than last year. Still, if possible, you can prepare for it by adding padding to your schedule and moving quickly with the technical tools available when your flight is delayed or canceled.

Remember, take what you can get and improve it-it’s better to have a less ideal rebooked itinerary than not at all. Best of all, you’ll be surprised at the worst and hopefully!