TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s shaping up to be a very busy holiday travel weekend and Tampa International Airport said they are expecting more than 60,000 passengers over the Fourth of July weekend.
Flying has become a challenge for some with delayed and canceled flights becoming increasingly common.
Flight Aware reported more then 3,000 delayed flights on Friday with more than 300 canceled in to and out of the United States.
Tampa International Airport says they are doing everything possible to make travel as smooth as possible this summer.
“Delays and cancels aren’t anything new. Obviously they are elevated if you look at in totality across the country, but we are doing the things we’ve always done. We look down range to make sure we are staffed appropriately and effectively, We are not just looking at today, but at the days ahead, always,” said Adam Bouchard, the Vice President of operations at the airport.
Travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt with Atmosphere Research Group says airlines are finally taking action to ease the problems.
“Several airlines have announced that they are going to pare back their summer flight schedules. Some have already done that, Delta Airlines reduced summer flying schedule would start today, July 1st,” said Harteveldt who said a decrease in the number of flights gives airlines more flexibility to keep the remaining flights on time. “These cutbacks are designed to reduce the pressure on an airline, so by reducing these flights, even if it’s a small number, the airlines believe it will help them better operate the remaining number of flights.”
AAA says passengers can improve their chances of a successful trip, starting with the booking process.
“If you are booking a flight, first and foremost, you want to book as early as you can and then look for a flight that leaves first thing in the morning because those afternoon and evening flights are more susceptible to being canceled or delayed. If you are booking a flight with a connector, build in a buffer, so a couple of extra hours in between because if your first flight is delayed, chances are you might miss your second one,” said Mark Jenkins with AAA.
Jenkins says he also strongly suggests passengers purchase travel insurance this year. Travel insurance can compensate you if your flight is canceled or delayed to pay for an extra night in a hotel and even food if you have problems.