For a lot of travelers, cancellations and other snags have made this summer especially frustrating. To assist you to understand how we came and easy methods to benefit from your individual trips, two Times travel experts — Niraj Chokshi, who covers transportation, and Heather Murphy, who reports on how people travel — answered reader questions.
Why are so many flights getting canceled? — Anna, South Bend, Ind.
Niraj: It’s a confluence of issues. Demand is sort of high. After two years when people weren’t in a position to travel or didn’t feel secure doing so due to Covid, summer travel is busy again. The opposite issue: Labor is in brief supply. Each airlines and airports have been struggling to rent, which suggests that there haven’t been enough baggage handlers, wheelchair agents, ramp agents — all the best way as much as pilots.
To some extent, it’s an issue of the airlines’ own creation. Early within the pandemic, once they were seeking to trim costs, the airlines encouraged loads of employees to go away through buyouts or early retirements. Ultimately, it looks as if that has come back to bite them.
Will the summer travel problems end by October for my destination wedding? — Martina Matheis, Stroudsburg, Pa.
Niraj: There may be some hope. Major airlines have been staffing up aggressively, and people latest employees must be fully trained soon. The industry also needs to get a little bit of relief due to seasonality: The autumn is traditionally less busy. Also, parts of the economy aren’t doing so great, which could mean that fewer people will likely be flying.
Do you think that the worth of airline tickets will ever go down? I’m broke, but need a vacation. — Cynthia Soegiharto, South Portland, Maine
Heather: Quite just a few apps and web sites — including Hopper, Kayak and Skyscanner — allow you, if you search your flight, to see what the costs will likely be at different time periods. I appreciate that the Hopper app will let you know if you happen to should book straight away because prices are prone to rise, or wait until they drop further.
Also, many airlines still allow people to alter most flights without fees, so you’ll be able to buy a flight after which, if you happen to can find a less expensive flight on that very same airline, you’ll be able to change it and get a credit.
If an airline cancels your flight, what rights do you’ve gotten so far as refunds or vouchers? — Susan, southern Recent Jersey
Heather: In case your airline cancels your flight or significantly changes it, you might be presupposed to get your a reimbursement. It’s something that folks don’t realize, and airlines sometimes as a substitute offer people vouchers once they actually owe you that cash. Should you aren’t refunded routinely, you could have to call the airline or fill out an internet form. If the cash has not shown up in your checking account inside several weeks of your request, it is best to tell your bank card company, and it could possibly assist you to get your a reimbursement.
What steps should you’re taking to plan for coping with contracting Covid if you are on vacation? — Libby Bucholz, Cary, N.C.
Heather: It’s tempting to push it out of our minds, but you’re smart to give you a plan prematurely. Some, but not all, travel insurance policies will cover seven days of additional hotel costs in addition to medical costs if you happen to test positive. Particularly if you happen to’re over 65 or medically compromised, it is best to check in along with your primary care doctor and discover if she or he could prescribe you Paxlovid if you’re on the road.
You now not should test to return to the U.S. or travel to most countries, so it’s really on you to discover whether you’ve gotten Covid before you fly home. C.D.C. guidance says that if you happen to test positive, it is best to isolate yourself for five days after which wear a mask for the five days after that. (Heather gave more suggestions for post-restrictions travel here.)
What can I do to cut back the carbon footprint of my vacation? — Kevin Morooney, State College, Pa.
Niraj: The airlines I cover won’t appreciate me saying this, but: Fly less. Flying is a big contributor to anyone’s carbon footprint and if it’s vital to you, reconsidering how much and the way far you travel is price considering.
Should I ship my luggage overseas to avoid the chaos of losing it? — Carolyn Adams, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Heather: If you might want to travel with something that’s so precious to you that whether it is lost, it might destroy your life, then put it in a carry on. If it’s too big, it’s not a terrible idea to ship it. But I don’t think we’re yet at the purpose where people have to stop checking their luggage.
For an enormous trip, is it higher to make use of a travel agent or plan by myself? — June Sambrowski, Morris Plains, N.J.
Heather: Travel agents are great if you’ve gotten the cash to spend on them. With all the travel chaos, and the horrible customer support offered by so many airlines, if you’ve gotten a travel agent, they might be the one to attend on the phone for 4 hours as a substitute of you.
Before working in journalism, Heather Murphy taught English at an institute in Chile with unconventional notions about essential words. Niraj Chokshi covers transportation, but his favorite way of getting around is walking together with his wife and their dog, Kevin.
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THE SUNDAY TIMES MAGAZINE
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Claire Moses, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Tom Wright-Piersanti and Ashley Wu contributed to The Morning. You’ll be able to reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.