Summer of canceled flights. How can passengers deal with it?

Airports are cutting the number of connections because they adapt it to their capabilities. Ryanair crews are on strike, TAP, LOT, Air France have canceled flights, although they don’t brag about it, but the information on the airport monitors shows exactly what is happening. There are also no doubts about the queues at the carriers, where exhausted employees try to find alternative connections.

British Airways, Brussels Airlines and SAS announced on Tuesday 5 July that they would not carry a quarter of a million passengers together. BA and Brussels, as their airports are unable to control and serve all new entrants. SAS because the pilots are on strike and the airline is threatened with bankruptcy and has just filed for creditor protection. Earlier, Lufthansa announced the cancellation of 3,000 connections in July. Meanwhile, the passengers don’t really care about the carriers’ problems because they bought a ticket and want to fly.

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In this context, Geert Sciot, former Brussels Airlines employee and airline spokesperson, has some advice for passengers who need or want to fly this summer. Here’s a summary of the tutorial he sent:

• Choose the morning cruise when booking. Such flights are usually on time or with a slight delay, because the planes stay overnight at the departure airport. The later we fly out, the greater the chance of delay.

• The risk of canceling a cruise to a transfer port is much higher than to typical holiday airports, such as Crete or Mallorca. On a cruise to Faro, for example, it is smaller than to Lisbon; Nicer than Paris. It is worth taking this into account when planning a trip. Perhaps it is wise to change the ticket?

• Avoid making changes. If we have an hour for the next European connection, it’s almost a guarantee that we won’t make it. In Europe, only one in three flights was not delayed in June. The reasonable connection time today is about 3 hours. Certainly at airports such as Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol.

• If we have to be at the destination at a certain time, it is better to travel the day before.

• When preparing for the flight, do as many activities alone as possible. The lines have a problem with employees, so they have to be relieved.

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• Arrive at the airport at least three hours before departure, as there is a line at the security checkpoint.

• Let’s prepare for this inspection. You cannot enter the metal detector gate with keys or coins in your pocket. Let’s get them out sooner. This will also shorten check-in times. It will prolong it as we rummage in our pockets and search for the reason why we are “squeaking”. It is also worth taking off the trousers/clothing belt beforehand and not waiting for the security officer to tell you to.

• Fly with hand luggage as much as possible.

• If we have a backpack, put it under the seat in front of it. This allows fellow passengers traveling with wheeled suitcases to store them in the luggage lockers. This shortens the time it takes to prepare the cabin for departure. And in general, we have to follow the rules for carrying hand luggage, its dimensions and number of pieces.

• If the airline cancels the flight shortly before departure for reasons other than “force majeure”, such as bad weather, we are entitled to compensation in accordance with EU Regulation 261/2004. We are entitled to a voucher for meals, hotel accommodation and compensation, the amount of which depends on the distance we fly. It is not a good idea to take the help of specialized law firms to recover the money owed to us, as they usually charge high fees for this service.

• And the last one: if we’re having trouble leaving, don’t make a fuss with employees trying to help us. It’s not their fault that our plane was cancelled. These people have a hard time anyway. Yelling and threats really won’t do anything, and they’re definitely out of place. And pay attention: they too have the right to let go of their nerves after a full day of work.

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