The auto club says shortages in airline staff could lead to canceled flights.
Baltimore, Md (KM) It’s not even Halloween yet, and AAA Mid-Atlantic is reminding people to book now if they plan to travel by air for Thanksgiving, Christmas Hanukkah, Kwanza and New Year’s holidays. “If you don’t book now, you might not have a flight for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or whatever end of the year the holiday you may be thinking about taking to the skies,” says Ragina Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
She says staffing shortages at airlines due to the pandemic have disrupted the industry, forcing them to eliminate the number of routes they serve. Fewer routes means fewer seats. “But the fact that we’re seeing increased expenses, reduced inventory, and the possibility of delayed or canceled flights, booking your holiday travel early should at least help to address those issues,” says Ali.
In past years, it was always a good idea to book holiday flights early when it was a little less expensive compared to waiting until the last minute. “If you wait now, not only will it be more expensive, you may not even have the option of getting a flight at all due to the reduced inventory and high demand,” says Ali.
When booking your flight now, AAA says look for flights that leave in the morning. “We know that the later you fly out in the day, those flights are more susceptible to an increase in cancelations, rescheduling or delays either due to weather, short staffing or other unforeseen circumstances,” Ali says.
If your vacation travel plans include flying to a cruise ship, Ali says leave a day or two before the ship sets sail. “So if your flight is delayed or disrupted, you don’t lose out on your entire trip,” she says.
All says AAA offices around Maryland have travel advisers who can help you with the ins and outs of booking a flight. The Frederick Office is located at 5620 Buckeystown Pike.
By Kevin McManus