Flying this week? Here is an update on what you can expect

Piedmont Triad News

(WGHP) — Wednesday is the busiest day of the year at most domestic airports as travelers head to various places to celebrate Thanksgiving. AAA has predicted 54.3 million people will fly this holiday week, about 13% more than 2020 but short of the 56 million in the prepandemic days of 2019.

Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro figures to be among those busy departure points. PTI spokesperson Shannon Allen said Monday in an email that the airport is “seeing strong numbers for this week’s travel.”

Officials had said there were more than 100,000 departing seats scheduled this month at PTI.

Officials at Raleigh-Durham International Airport said last week they were expecting 234,000 passengers Monday through Sunday – about 129% higher than last year. They said Sunday would be their busiest day.

Officials at Charlotte Douglas International Airport have said that Tuesday and Wednesday will be the busiest travel days leading up to Thanksgiving. The Charlotte Observer reported they expected 30,000 to 31,000 daily departing passengers, compared to roughly 17,000 passengers on those days last year.

But with so many more people flying again, some airlines have struggled to meet demand and keep planes in the air. Southwest Airlines and American Airlines recently canceled about 2,000 flights because of pilot shortages and other issues, MSNBC reported.

If you are departing from PTI, lists all scheduled flights and real-time status updates that travelers can check. Questions about service should be directed to the airlines, PTI officials say.

Frustrated travelers routinely file complaints about airlines’ failures. Forbes reported there were 102,550 grievances filed last year through the U.S. Department of Transportation, which publishes a prepandemic-collected list of policies, best practices and outlets for your frustrations.

Here are a few things to remember any time you travel:

  • If you own a ticket, you are guaranteed a seat on a flight as long as you are available when that flight departs. But that’s your only guarantee.
  • Airlines overbook flights and can bump passengers – either voluntarily or sometimes arbitrarily – but they must provide compensation, such as vouchers for free tickets or gift cards, and arrangements for meals and hotels to accommodate your delay.
  • PTI officials suggest that you know what to expect at security checks and plan accordingly. This can save frustration and heartache and avoid delaying others in line behind you. 3 key tips: Limit your carryon to one piece of luggage and another personal case; ensure that your personal liquids and gels are the allowed 3 ounces and in a quart-sized clear plastic bag displayed at security; and don’t try to take weapons or ammo onto the plane.
  • Masks are required in airports and on flights, so don’t think you can relax that rule or expect anyone else will either. Pilots and flight attendants dictate policy aboard flights.
  • If you have a complaint, each airline has a customer-complaint department, and the Department of Transportation collects via forms, calls and emails complaints about both consumer and safety issues.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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