Charlotte travel professional offers advice for fliers after weekend of delays and cancellations for domestic flights

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Disruptions continue to plague air travelers across the United States. According to CBS News, at least 14,000 domestic flights were canceled or delayed in the United States this past weekend because of staffing issues for airlines.

Fortunately, most travelers at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport appeared to be avoiding major trip disruptions Monday night. Only a few flights departing and arriving at the airport had been canceled as of 7:30 p.m.

Chris McCauley, a Florida resident, was one of thousands of travelers passing through the airport Monday. He said he was traveling to Wisconsin, but had a layover in Charlotte. McCauley said he had been concerned about the trip because he is planning to attend a wedding in Wisconsin.

“(I’m) super-worried because I mean getting (the trip) rescheduled would be worthless so I’m really grateful that everything has been going according to plan,” he explained.

He said he purchased travel insurance for the trip too.

“If it would have gone bad we don’t want to be out you know. I feel like it’s mandatory at this point,” explained McCauley.

Roni Fishkin, a travel professional from Mann Travels in Charlotte, said she recommends travel insurance for all travelers these days.

“It’s not just for airline mishaps. It’s just for everything to protect people’s really hard-earned dollars that they’re spending on vacation,” explained Fishkin in a Zoom interview with WBTV.

She also said travelers need to do what they can to avoid cutting it close when catching flights.

“Book yourself plenty of time. Get to the airport early. Don’t book that last flight out and try maybe and travel when other people are not traveling,” she said.

Fishkin also said she encourages travelers to read the details of travel insurance plans before making a purchase, so they know exactly what the insurance plan covers. She said travelers should also consider starting their trip a day or two early if they are planning to fly to a destination for an event like a wedding.

Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has reportedly told airline executives to meet flight schedules and hire more customer service workers or potentially face fines.

McCauley explained his skepticism of this tactic to improve airline travel.

“I hate to say it, but it might be necessary, but at the same time you can’t help if people are not available to do the job, especially if they’re not qualified,” he explained.

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