How to Survive the Summer of Canceled/Delayed Flights


Oh, what a summer! Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard about all the canceled and delayed flights this summer. When you pair massive throngs of travelers wanting to get out and see the world again with a transportation system that was scaled back because of COVID, chaos was waiting to happen! Luckily, I have only had one delayed flight. So far. Let’s talk about how to survive the Summer of canceled/delayed flights.


Book Early Flights

You will have less chance of a canceled/delayed flight this summer if you have booked the early flight. As much as I hate to get up early to fly, this will be my mantra this summer. As flights are delayed, the later flights have more of a chance of being delayed further or even being canceled. Book that early flight (they are often cheaper anyway) and have more of a chance of getting out.


Book with the Right Credit Card

One way to survive the summer of delayed/canceled flights is to book with the right credit card. Make sure you paid your taxes and fees with a card that has some travel protection. We love the Chase Sapphire Preferred for this! That way you will recoup your expenses if you have to stay overnight or your luggage gets lost in the fiasco.


blue credit card

This card has great travel protection!

Avoid Connections

Now is the time to book nonstop connections if you can. Once you add a connecting flight into the situation that is happening this summer, you’ve increased your chances of something going wrong. You might want to book that nonstop flight even if it is more points/miles.


Travel Light

Consider carryon luggage for trips this summer. I once lost luggage when I went to Greece. It was not fun to piece together a wardrobe from my travel buddies for 3 days. I would think that with all that is going on this summer with travel that there is a higher likelihood of lost baggage so my suggestion is: travel light.

I have noticed HUGE lines at check-in desks this summer. That can make it harder to get to your flight on time so arrive earlier if you are checking bags.


Woman in airport with blue luggage

Pack light this summer to survive the summer of canceled/delayed flights.

Expect a Full Flight

Do you know how you feel like you won the lottery when the seat next to you is empty? Don’t plan on that this summer. Every flight I’ve been on has been completely full! Plan accordingly and expect a neighbor.


Have the Customer Service Rep Number Handy

If you do get delayed or canceled, don’t go to that big line of people at the Service Desk. Call instead. We once had a flight to Maui delayed by 6 hours and everyone headed to the Service Desk. It was a United Flight so I called United customer support instead, and within a few minutes, we were rerouted to an earlier flight while everyone else waited in line.


Bottom Line

Summer travel is always rougher but we can expect this summer to be even uglier. Plan accordingly and save yourself some headaches. What are your tricks to survive the summer of canceled/delayed flights?


Busy airport

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