The summer air travel survival guide

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Soaring prices, packed airports, flight delays, rude passengers.

Welcome to summer air travel!

Read on for how to keep your cool in the heat of the summer travel season.

Know your rights

Airlines aren’t exactly known for their transparency regarding compensation or speedy payouts. This dearth of available information combined with customers’ lack of faith in the process means most passengers who run into trouble never file a claim. According to Air Help CEO Tomasz Pawliszyn, only 20-25% of passengers claim rightful compensation.

Understanding your air passenger rights won’t prevent delays or missed connections, but knowing whether you’ll be paid for your time makes the wait a little easier. View air passenger rights and check claim eligibility for the EU, UK, Brazil, Turkey, Canada, and the International Montreal Convention here.

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Airlines don’t pay out for bad weather or other extraordinary circumstances, which can include air traffic control issues, airport employee strikes, acts of sabotage, radar malfunctions and more. 

AirHelp’s AirPayout Insurance guarantees a €100 payment in the event of flight disruption, cancellations within a week of departure, flight diversions, or delays of over three hours, no matter the cause. The payout is on top of any compensation claimed from the airline.

Look before you book

Writing for USA Today, consumer advocate Christopher Elliott suggests looking at online travel sites or using the flight-tracking website FlightAware for average delay times on a particular flight. He also suggests an early start: ‘As a general rule, the earlier you leave, the better. The first flight of the day is less likely to be delayed.’

With heat waves and forest fires scorching summer destinations worldwide, a flexible ticket is an option for saving money. Flexible tickets allow passengers to change or cancel flights for no or low fees. If your itinerary has a little wiggle room, this might be a good option. Be sure your accommodation is as bendy as your ticket. Rules vary by airline, be sure to read the T&C before booking.

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Finding the calm in the Chaos

Summer travel stress doesn’t bring out the best in people. But informed travellers brave the maelstrom better than most. Knowing your rights, booking wisely, and the right insurance can keep you calm as you navigate summer air travel. Why not lead by example?

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