The Safe Traveler Warns of More Flight Delays in Your Future
March 21, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel NewsAs several of the nation’s airlines struggle to clear the passenger backlog caused by the cancellation or delay of thousands of flights March 17th and 18th, The Safe Traveler, a St. Petersburg, FL based company, advises fliers that increased delays and cancellations may become a more common occurrence.
“The airlines have received a lot of criticism for their handling of the weather delays this winter,” according to John Holchin, a spokesman for www.safetraveler.com, a website devoted to travel safety information and updates, “and they’re dealing with the limitations of the system as they work to cost-effectively minimize customer inconvenience. It is possible that we’ll see airlines increase the number of pre-emptive cancellations if weather forecasts indicate storms.”
According to the website, which cited Bureau of Transportation statistics, 22.6% of all flights experienced a delay in 2006. Cancellations were 1.7% of all flights. Those numbers increased in January of this year to 24.2% delayed and 2.53% cancelled entirely.
“January saw a marked increase over 2006 and the worst of the storms didn’t occur until February and March.” Holchin continues, “Those numbers translate into thousands of travelers left scrambling to make alternative arrangements.”
While the worst of winter may be over, The Safe Traveler predicts travelers may see an increase in delays or cancellations throughout the upcoming vacation season, as airlines operating in areas subject to spring and summer storms work to adjust their scheduling balance.
Beyond the inconvenience of delays and cancellations, it is important for travelers to take precautions to minimize problems. The website, www.SafeTraveler.com offers tips and advice to help stranded travelers cope with the delays and avoid additional problems.
“Now more than ever, it’s important for travelers to be proactive with their travel plans and safety,” adds Byron Hamilton, a contributing writer for the website. “Be flexible and informed. Know as much as you can about each leg of your journey. Our website is a great resource to start.”
Some other tips Hamilton says The Safe Traveler recommends include: Avoiding tight connections and schedules; checking with your carrier before you leave for the airport; checking for airline alternatives at websites such as FareCompare.com; and most importantly remaining diligent if you are stranded. “As frustrating as a delay might be, being the victim of petty crime or other problems will only make things worse. Use your common sense and don’t let your guard down.”
The Safe Traveler provides travel safety information, travel tips, advisories, current travel updates, plus cultural and destination information on over 200 countries and thousands of locations. For more information on travel safety, visit www.SafeTraveler.com or contact:
Executive Vice President,
The Safe Traveler