Why are so many flights being cancelled? What can I do?
Labor shortages, specifically pilots and airport staff (baggage handlers and security). These positions are obviously crucial, and when executed perfectly they go unnoticed, but their lack of presence is certainly being felt by all right now. While these areas are actively hiring, in the case of pilots, this isn’t an immediate fix. Largely due to the number of training hours it takes for them to become certified and deemed experienced enough to operate commercial flights, which at 1,500 hours we’re okay with because safety first! In fact, across all airlines reports are showing they plan to hire some 12,000 pilots this year – so help is on the way.
Many of us, though, need to travel and want to do so with as little interruption or headache as possible. Which still does happen of course, those smooth trips just don’t make the headlines. There are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for the current state of travel to lessen the risk of you, or your luggage being stranded.
Check-In and Arrive Early
Flight check-in opens 24 hours prior to your departure, the earlier you check in the less likely you are to be bumped from your flight. This is a first line of protection for you to mitigate delays in your travels. Now that you’ve completed that, arrive to the airport early, earlier than you think you need to!
With fewer trained staff on hand at airports, processes like security will take longer. It will be a better travel day if you arrive three hours early and end up having extra time on your hands VS missing your flight due to long lines.
Carry On is King
Wherever possible, pack light and simply travel with carry on luggage. If you arrive to the airport and discover your flight has been severely delayed or cancelled, you can quickly pivot to booking an alternate flight or other travel methods. Whereas if you arrive, check in your luggage, and then find this out you’re really at the mercy of the airlines/ baggage handlers.
We’ve all seen the horror photos of thousands of bags piled in warehouses or at the carousels, save yourself from this scenario and leave that extra item at home if you can.
Travel Insurance – Trust Us
Surely we’ve all bypassed the use of travel insurance at one point or another in our lives, but in today’s world we really cannot recommend it enough. Not even just for medical or health purposes, but specifically for luggage loss and trip interruption/ cancellation. If you are embarking on travels that do require you to check luggage, then you will likely be in a tough spot if you do get where you’re going and have no personal items!
Further to that, trip interruption is almost a guarantee at some point in your journey right now. We promise, your future self will be thanking you for making the small investment ahead of time.
Be Mindful of Carriers and Routes
Reading the headlines this past week, you may have seen there were some 10,000 flights delayed in just one day around the world. While it can be comforting to know it’s not an isolated experience, this doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be done.
Certain carriers are seeing greater affects than others, this can be attributed to advanced planning by adjusting summer routes ahead of time. So there are fewer last minute cancellations or delays because the staff are there to support the flights sold. Also, certain hub airports generally see more traffic than others which means the ripple effects felt are likely worse due to the sheer number of travellers.
These are a few key pieces of the travel puzzle to keep in mind when booking your next business or work-related trip. We all know there’s still a while to go before travel looks like it did prior to the pandemic. Though if you’re aware of the situation and keep the above points in mind this will allow you to plan ahead in what is a challenging situation for all.
Travel can be stressful, knowing you have a dedicated person to call when things don’t go to plan can help reduce that feeling. Interested in learning how we can be your dedicated travel partner? Let’s get started!