Passengers find ways to work around flight cancellations on July 4 holiday Travel

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 6:53 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Fourth of July holiday travel is in full swing and AAA expects it to be the busiest on record in Tennessee.

Many people will catch flights and at BNA about 36,000 people are expected to come through here between Friday and Tuesday, July 5.

“I drive a truck for a living so I drive every day on these roads, vacation time, I don’t like driving. So if I could fly out at a local airport like that’s what I try to do,” said Tony Ferguson who was catching a flight out of Nashville but not without flight issues.

Air travel is forecasted to be 2% stronger than last year according to AAA and that’s despite how chaotic summer travel has been.

“I went to bed last night, everything was fine. I woke up this morning and checked that’s when everything hit the fan,” Tom Ferguson said.

Because of that, the Fergusons, of Mississippi, had to call an Audible so they could make their flight out of Nashville to California.

“We were supposed to fly out on Contour this morning and our flight got canceled,” said Marsha Ferguson. “And so we hopped in the car and drove 4 hours to get up here to get this flight and its got changed several times.”

The change in plans created some unexpected additional costs for the couple.

“Now we’re paying for parking, instead of free parking in Tupelo, gas up here and then the time,” Tony said.

Canceled and delayed flights have been a recurring thing for passengers this summer.

On Friday, July 1, showed over 25,000 flights delayed and more than 2,500 canceled flights.

“You book it one minute and then it changes and you go into a tailspin whenever you look at your phone. It says it canceled or something like that,” Tony said.

Passengers have been dealing with all of this while paying more to take flights.

AAA said the average lowest airfare is 14% more than last year.

As for the Fergusons, they got their tickets to fly out on Friday afternoon and the couple hoped for what many passengers flying this weekend hope for; getting to their destination on time.

“Well we were just hoping and praying we can get on our cruise boat in LA. That’s our main concern,” Marsha said.

As for passengers dealing with canceled flights, experts at Scott’s Cheap flights have these tips:

- The good news is that you’re protected under federal law. If your flight is canceled you can get a full cash refund, even if you’ve booked basic economy.

- Once you find out your flight is canceled utilize everything to your advantage to book a new flight quickly. Get on the phone, get on live chat, and stand in line at the gate. Whichever method gets you rebooked the quickest is the best so it works in your favor to get started on each method at the same time.

- When flights are canceled, many airlines have the option of putting you on another carrier’s flight because they have interline agreements. This means, for example, if Delta is having service interruptions but American is running a flight to your destination, you may be able to get on that flight.

- If you elect not to be accommodated on a later flight and you book a new ticket out of your own pocket you are entitled to a cash refund, though that may not help you get to where you need to go (as we all know, last-minute flights are very expensive).

- Airlines in some cases will provide accommodations but it’s a case-by-case basis and never guaranteed. The good news is that many credit cards offer travel protections such as reimbursement if a flight cancellation forces you to get a hotel, meals, etc. These travel protections are typically included automatically as long as you used the card to pay for your flight. Google your credit card + travel protections to see what specific offerings your card carries.

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