Labor Day marks one of the busiest times of year for travel. According to AirHelp, last year’s travel patterns broke records with 16 million travelers opting to fly. AirHelp also found over Labor Day weekend, the busiest travel days specifically are Aug. 31–Sept. 1 — a word to the wise.
Even while 2017 air travel seemed to be at an all-time high, 2018 is already close behind and growing quickly. Soon to be an even more-traveled year than last, AirHelp found that, in the United States, travelers from January through June 2018 are owed $292 million in airline compensation due to cancellations and disruptions — shockingly, nearly 60 percent more than the same month range in 2017.
According to AirHelp statistics, the most disrupted flight routes in 2017 were Los Angeles International Airport to San Francisco International Airport both ways; Dallas Love Field Airport to Houston William P. Hobby Airport both ways; New York LaGuardia Airport to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ); Chicago O’Hare International Airport to New York LaGuardia Airport; New York LaGuardia Airport to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA); Las Vegas McCarran International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport; and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport both ways.
With this in mind, travel smart this Labor Day and be extra mindful to follow our blended list of tips and tricks for easy family travel, even amid packed airports.
Know your rights. If an airline owed your family money back from disrupted, canceled or increasingly delayed flights, act on it. Planning vacations and setting aside time and money can be a hassle and with overpacked airports, unpredictable weather and busy routes, it’s important to know where your family vacation stands. If you are owed compensation, get it. At the very least, educate yourself about your airline’s policies regarding refunds and rescheduled flights.
Add on travel insurance. If your particular trip lines up with add-on travel insurance and you’re worried about flight delays or cancellations, add it on while you can.
Travel light. The easiest way to navigate last-minute flight changes and impromptu hotel stays is to have less to keep track of. Heavier bags will slow you down and possibly delay you in racing with kids in tow to your connecting flight.
Have a sense of the airport you’re traveling to. Check airport maps online before departure to have some semblance of where you are and need to be upon landing. Racing to your gate, baggage claim or restrooms is a lot easier done when you have a general sense of direction to go in.
Hire a car. Save time waiting for an airport rental with lines of delayed travelers and have one waiting. You’ve been in the airport long enough, it’s time to get to your destination.