Traveling this summer? Experts say don’t rule out long lines and flight cancellations

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – A handful of viewers reached out to WBTV about long lines at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

With school out, many families plan to go on vacation this summer. Travel experts say, don’t be surprised if you see those long lines and flight cancellations.

With more travelers and staffing shortages, they say, it could be the perfect storm for a potentially frustrating trip.

The busiest times of day for security checks at 10 major US airports

“During the flight, we got a message that our next flight, it was canceled, so we got pretty nervous,” said Karolina Huvarova.

Luckily, she and Andre Niec were able to get on a different flight. But the journey from Prague to the US hasn’t been easy.

“To go into the airport, it took us 2 hours,” said Niec. “It’s pretty hard right now.”

More than 2,500 flights across the US were canceled over Memorial Day weekend.

Looking ahead this summer, Lousson Smith with travel company Scott’s Cheap Flights says, more travelers and airline staffing shortages could be a recipe for issues at the airport.

“There’s been some turnover in the airline industry, so they originally had these grand ideas for what they thought the summer would be like and now they don’t have the bodies to kind of fulfill those needs, so some airlines like Delta and Southwest have been trimming routes,” said Smith.

Smith says you may also be waiting a long time in line.

“Oh, it’s been 45 minutes at least,” said one traveler Aryan Parmar.

The TSA says, wait times were longer than usual at Charlotte Douglas Tuesday morning as more TSA officers than usual called out sick.

“Just make sure you have plenty of time to catch your flight,” said Huvarova.

Experts say, give yourself an extra 30 minutes at the airport.

They say TSA PreCheck or Global Entry for international travel could help save some time.

If your flight is canceled, usually you’ll be rebooked, but experts say, don’t wait for that.

Go online and find alternative flights—sometimes it’ll work out where you can go on a competing airline if they have your flight.

Copyright 2022 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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