Aviation Expert Offers Advice on Navigating the Summer Travel Rush

People in airline terminal
Embry-Riddle’s Dr. Jules Yimga provides expert advice to help travelers navigate the summer travel rush. (Photo: Getty Images)

As the summer travel season readies for takeoff, skies around the country will soon fill with vacationers. That expected increase in passenger volume, however, comes at a unique time for airlines, many of which have recently reduced service options, according to an aviation business expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

“Citing supply chain issues and operational losses, some major airlines have discontinued service to airports or cut back on long-haul routes,” said Dr. Jules Yimga, chair of Embry-Riddle’s School of Business. “These changes could lead to fewer flight options, fluctuating ticket prices and more crowded cabins.”

To make the most of your upcoming travel plans, Yimga offered advice to help passengers navigate this summer’s airports effectively.

Plan Ahead

To overcome potential setbacks, Yimga recommends booking upcoming flights as far in advance as possible.

“Check in online and monitor your flight status regularly,” she said. “It is also wise to plan for longer wait times at security and consider travel insurance to cover unexpected charges.”

By downloading airline apps, passengers can prepare with real-time updates on departure times.

“When booking your flight, consider longer layovers to buffer against tight connections,” Yimga added. “Also, know your rights regarding compensations and rebooking.”

If you experience delays, have a backup plan. Research alternative routes that will put you back on schedule.

Shop Around

Customers can also discover deals by booking flights at off-peak times, such as those departing mid-week or late at night.

“Consider alternative airports that may offer cheaper fares,” said Yimga. “Utilize fare comparison tools and set alerts that can help you snag the best deals.”

Resources like Google Flights or Kayak allow travelers to make real-time price comparisons to find the best rate. Additionally, searching for budget-friendly airlines can return booking options at significant price reductions. However, passengers should look for unexpected baggage fees, seat selection charges and in-flight purchases. Review airline policies to choose options that include necessary amenities.

If possible, book flights in advance and remain flexible with travel dates to reap significant savings on your travel expenses.

Utilize Tech

Passengers can download crucial time-saving apps that will help keep them informed about flight changes.

“Travelers can use mobile boarding passes, travel apps and digital maps of airports to navigate terminals efficiently,” Yimga said. “Apps that consolidate itineraries, hotel bookings and car rentals can also reduce anxieties.”

Vacationers can also utilize mobile payment services and digital wallets to facilitate faster transactions at airports, as well as resources that anticipate weather conditions that could impact your departure time.

“Monitor weather forecasts regularly as your travel date approaches,” said Yimga. “Subscribe to airline notifications for immediate updates on flight changes.”

Stay Flexible

“Travelers should approach challenges with flexibility,” added Yimga. “Keeping a relaxed schedule, anticipating delays and having resources to stay occupied during waits can help manage stress.”

Personal health and self-care are essential — having healthy snacks on hand, staying hydrated and ensuring you are well-rested can also contribute to an overall positive attitude when traveling to your vacation destination this summer.