Let's face it: summer travel by plane can be the pits. Line-ups are long, flights are packed; in many cities, summer storms often cause delays and cancelled flights; and passengers who miss a connection have a heck of a time re-booking because flights are packed.
After a trip home that ended up re-routing through four airports, the time seems right to consider some Summer Air Travel Survival Tips.
- if possible, choose an early flight: theoretically, these flights should leave on time, as there's been no opportunity, yet, for delays to accumulate. (Most planes spend the night in an airport, so are ready to leave on time in the morning.)
- avoid mid-afternoon departures in any city prone to summer storms, where the risk is high for delayed and even cancelled flights. Note, however, that your flight departing a city with perfect weather may be cancelled anyway, because your plane never arrived from a city that was hit with a summer storm.
- triple check your ticket departure times. If any error is made, you'll have a hard time rebooking, as all flights are full; also, standby chances are poor.
- hold that plane! Not happening. If you're on a plane that's going to be arriving late, and have any hopes that a connecting flight will be held for you -- toss those hopes out the window. A flight might be held if a sizeable number of passengers is involved, but don't count on it.
- pay a little extra for your ticket, if you have the chance to book a direct flight. Every connecting flight is a flight that can be missed.