Experts: Travelers could see increase in delays, cancellations as demand spikes
It has been a challenging holiday weekend at national airports with thousands of flights being canceled or delayed, causing all sorts of headaches for travelers. But will this become a trend for the rest of the summer?
FlightAware was reporting by later afternoon Memorial Day there were 29 canceled flights and 124 delayed flights in and out of John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The numbers are lower than they were the rest of the long weekend, but they still put a damper on some passengers' holiday weekend.
"It was frustrating. We had things planned for the morning that we couldn't do because we got there so late," Meredith Argyris, of New Jersey, said.
Argyris says she had more than a three-hour delay Friday on her flight to Barcelona. She almost missed her brother's wedding.
Airlines blamed the cancellations on severe weather in parts of the U.S., plus staffing issues. It was not good news on one of the busiest travel weekends the industry has seen in a couple of years.
Matthew Kondrup, from Matty K Travel Group in Wantagh, says he has been working all weekend to re-route clients whose flights were canceled or delayed. He says travelers should expect to see more challenges at airports this summer. However, he says there are some things travelers can do to mitigate any problems.
"No. 1 most importantly -- have travel insurance, so that if you are stuck somewhere, you have the ability to get a hotel room, rebook a trip -- a lot of that stuff is covered," he said.
Kondrup also recommends choosing airlines with several flights a day to your destination, that way if one if canceled you could get a later one. He says book the early flights since they have a lesser chance of being delayed or canceled. Kondrup recommends to monitor airline communications for flight changes and always get to the airport early.
Sivona Blake heard about all the cancellations this weekend but says her flight today was uneventful.
"I traveled two weeks ago and I had some delays coming back from California, so I was definitely concerned, but it worked out so I'm happy," said Blake.
Travel experts warn with the increased demand for travel this summer, delays and cancellations could be commonplace. They say to try and take them in stride and try and not take frustrations out on frontline airport workers who don't control flight schedules.