Arkansas travelers can expect a ‘flightmare’ of airport delays starting on May 30

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The TSA reports that air passenger traffic is expected to be more concentrated over peak periods such as the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, with volumes anticipated to match and occasionally exceed those in previous years for the first time since the pandemic began and travel restrictions were implemented.

With an influx of passengers returning to modes of air travel, it may mean staff—already in short supply—are overwhelmed with duties and eager to reach their summer destinations. Rose Ackermann, Executive Editor at FamilyDestinationsGuide.com notices that the surge in passenger numbers following the easing of travel restrictions will have an impact on waiting times between checkpoints like check-in counters, security screening and baggage collection.

“While it is great news that travel has fully opened up and families can finally have proper vacations, the combination of increased demand and staff shortages have the potential to cause significant delays and an overall sub-par travel experience,” she said.

Airports in Arkansas are predicted to experience increased air traffic, as well as foot traffic from passengers passing through. A combination of these pandemic-related factors may lead to trip disruptions, delays, postponements or even cancelations for travelers.

FamilyDestinationsGuide.com compiled a list of tips for summer vacationers to help ease travel concerns they may have when moving through hubs during the pandemic:

Aim for flights that depart early in the day. By doing this, if there is a potential last-minute flight cancellation, it may increase your chances of being rebooked on another flight the same day. This will also help reduce the risk of larger-scale impacts on the rest of your travel plans if things do happen to go awry.

Anticipate delays and plan your time accordingly. Lengthier-than-usual waiting times at travel checkpoints and airline counters can emerge without warning, therefore, making sure you’re even earlier than being ‘on time’ can help reduce the severity of these delays on the rest of your plans. Anticipating these delays means you can add an extra few minutes between stops onto your itinerary and even if this additional time isn’t needed, you could always stop for a coffee or snack to make up for it.

Review your travel insurance policy. In a time when travel can be unpredictable due to the changing pandemic landscape, it’s a good idea to look into the best possible travel insurance for you and your party. There is an abundance of different options to suit budgets and varying timelines; and taking out a travel insurance policy ahead of time can help minimize financial stress and further delays caused by potential flight, transport, or accommodation cancellations.

Try to exercise patience when dealing with airport and airline staff. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of traveling, especially if it’s been a while since your last trip. Remember that many industries are still attempting to recover from the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic, so processes may be a little slower as compared to traveling in previous years before the virus was a concern.

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