Life Style

Summer 2024 travel is record-breaking: Here are some of our top tips

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the busy summer travel season – and it’s one for the record. May 24, the Friday before the long weekend, was the Transportation Security Administration’s busiest day ever, with the agency screening 2.9 million people. In fact, five of the 10 busiest days on record occurred just this month. According to the TSA, the agency screened nearly 8% more people over the holiday weekend this year compared to 2023.

If Memorial Day weekend is any indication, this will be a record summer for domestic and international travel. That’s because the typically busy tourist season will also include travel-worthy events like Summer Olympics in Paris.

Record-breaking summer tourism is expected

US airlines predict 271 million passengers will travel between June 1 and August 31. That number will easily surpass last summer’s record of 255 million passengers, according to US airlines. US airlines plan to operate more than 26,000 flights per day this summer, an increase of nearly 1,400 flights per day compared to last year (or 5.6% compared to last summer).

Forecast for summer 2024 AIRLINES TO AMERICA

Airlines have increased flights to meet increased demand.

“U.S. airlines are excited to welcome record numbers of passengers this summer,” Rebecca Spicer, senior vice president of communications at A4A, said in a press release. “Our airlines have adjusted their schedules to accommodate current National Airspace System (NAS) realities, helping to alleviate some of those pressure points and make for a smoother travel season. Summer went well.”

Indeed, US airlines performed very well over the Memorial Day long weekend despite a series of landfalling thunderstorms. regions of the country. Airlines appear to be recovering faster without the catastrophic system failures we saw after the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, it’s better to be prepared for anything. Here are some of my top tips to help you stay sane this summer.

Book parking

As travel demand increases, parking demand at the airport also increases. We increasingly see “sold out” signs in airport parking lots.

To ensure you don’t have trouble finding a place that may or may not exist, book it now. Most airport parking lots offer pre-paid or reserved parking, making it easy to book a spot in advance. You may even find cheaper prices when you book in advance.

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Related: Don’t forget to do this before heading to the airport this summer

Allow extra time

Fountain at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA). CLINT HENDERSON/POINT

This summer at the airport will be very busy and you should plan accordingly. While we don’t see the staffing shortages of a few years ago, there are only so many baggage handlers, ticket counter agents, and security screeners.

My mantra for this summer (and the mantra that many of my TPG colleagues share) is that you are “better safe than sorry.” That’s why we recommend arriving at the airport two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights. You just never know these days.

Modern airports have so many amenities and attractions that having a little extra time in the lounge or even for shopping isn’t the worst thing.

Get Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or Clearance – or a combination of all 3

TSA line at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL). CLINT HENDERSON/POINT

At TPG, we always recommend taking every security shortcut, including enrolling in a Trusted Traveler Program like TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

With these programs, the government essentially pre-screens you for security, thus saving you some time on your trip. You will need to apply before the deadline and pay a fee. However, the great news is Many credit cards will give you a statement credit for these fees.

Related: 7 ways to get TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and Clear for free or at a discount

TSA Pre-Check allows you to get through airport security without removing your shoes, laptop or liquids. With Global entryYou can easily clear customs when returning from an international trip.

We recommend you get it Global Entry instead of simply TSA PreCheck. Global Entry requires a prior interview with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but once you are approved, TSA PreCheck is included.

We also like it Airyanother security program that allows you to bypass long security lines.

A Clear membership combined with TSA PreCheck will give you access to even shorter routes at select airports with designated Clear/TSA PreCheck routes. Delete isn’t always faster, but it still generally results in shorter lines.

Related: Why you should get TSA PreCheck and Clear – and how you can save on both

Be smart when you book

Orlando International Airport (MCO). CLINT HENDERSON/POINT

There is still a shortage air traffic controller, and things can still go wrong. Today’s travelers must be their own best advocates.

Better make a reservation

Think through each booking you make. Try to find one fly straight Instead, the flight has many connecting flights to reduce the risk of missed flights or delays. This will also reduce the risk of your luggage being lost or misplaced.

We also recommend taking one of the first flights of the day as early flights are less likely to experience weather disruptions such as afternoon thunderstorms, meaning they’re more likely to depart on time most hour.

Related: Flight canceled or delayed? Here’s what to do next

Consistency is power

Make sure you’re monitoring your flight and the weather.

Your download Airline mobile application to track possible flight delays in real time. Aviation apps are your secret weapon in case something goes wrong. Not only will you know when boarding begins, but you’ll also be aware of any delays in advance. Some airlines even let you rebook your ticket in the app (or buy yourself an upgrade).

If your flight is canceled, you’ll want to beat everyone else on the flight who is also looking to rebook.

We recommend going to the main customer service counter (or lounge counter, if you have access). You can also call the airline or contact the service provider via social media If there is a delay. Sometimes an airline’s social media representative will help you faster over the phone or with a live agent. You must use every tool at your disposal when something goes wrong.

Nowadays many airlines also have them Live chat capabilities to help navigate delays and cancellations.

I always have an alternative plan (or two) in mind in case my flight gets canceled or delayed. I also look at other airlines flying on the route I’m on in case something goes wrong. This way, I’ll know what to ask for if I need to rebook.

I also like to use FlightRadar24 to track my flights, along with The app is called Flighty. This helps me keep track of my flights and will often let me know before anyone else (including the airline) if there’s a problem with my flight.

Notice flying. FLY

You can also use Google to track your flight. Simply enter your airline and flight number to see your flight status.

Know your rights

There is good news regarding passenger rights. The Biden administration is taking a tougher stance in demanding that airlines take responsibility and support consumers.

New Regulations of the Department of Transport more passenger-friendly, requiring airlines to promptly refund passengers if they cancel flights (or make significant schedule adjustments).

You are entitled to a full refund to your original form of payment within one week if you paid by credit card and within three weeks if you used another payment method. This applies to flights delayed by three hours or more if flying within the US and at least six hours if flying internationally. However, remember that airlines are only required to refund passengers who did not use their tickets.

If you find yourself facing delays or cancellations, remember to save all receipts for expenses you incur. You’ll want to have excellent documentation in case of a crisis like the one experienced by Southwest Airlines passengers experience during winter vacation 2022.

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