Will Travel Disruptions Continue? Yep. How to Better Plan.

As we make travel plans for the rest of the year, whether for business or personal trips, a lingering trend is sure to raise concern. Anyone who has traveled recently has no doubt run into long lines, delays, or cancellations. Will this perfect storm of a reduction in flights, staff shortages, and post-COVID catch-up continue?

All things seem to point to travel through the Holiday Season 2022, while less chaotic than this past summer, will continue to be challenging. Rest assured, airlines, travel managers and support agents completely understand how important it is that you get where you’re going. We’ll do anything to send folks where they need to be. Some are just better equipped to take care of the displaced with options that best suit your original schedule.

What can you do to beat the odds when it comes to flight disruption? There are some guiding principles that will help lessen the stress of rescheduling and even avoid further throwing your schedule off kilter.

1 Be nice to the counter and gate agents. Truth be told, they hold all the cards. The rest of us must stick to the rules regarding seat assignments, upgrades, late boarding, etc., but the agents? Well, they have superpowers! (This is true for business and personal travel.)

2 Waiting in a long line to make changes? Call your agency while in line to get rebooked. That way, the only action needed at the counter is to reissue the ticket.

3 Not at the airport? Call your agency. We’ll do everything we can to resolve the situation and it’s usually much faster than going airline-direct (this can result in waiting up to 24 hours for help).

4 Regarding same day meetings, leave plenty of time to arrive ahead of the start of your meeting schedule. Do the same when it comes to your final meeting and departure time.

5 Don’t check bags, if you don’t have to. Checking your luggage at the gate is always the safer option for having bag in hand when you leave the terminal. If the worst happens, utilize the tracking feature offered through most Loyalty programs. Communications are as easy as an app on your phone.

6 Always set out with seat assignment in hand. If the flight is oversold and you aren’t already assigned, you’ll have to take what you can get. Did I mention about being nice to the gate agents?

7 And please…don’t be late. Flights are full (and even oversold) and seats will be given away to people who are available and ready to board. This practice usually starts about 15 minutes before scheduled departure.

Even if you follow all the best advice, travelers should always have an alternate plan (or two) given the current environment. When all else fails, be patient. If you’re traveling on business, lean on your agency. Here at TSI USA, we don’t have magic wands, but we do care immensely about our clients and offer support accordingly. Remember, stay calm and travel on.

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