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Expert shares summer travel tips

1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago Monday, June 27 2022 Jun 27, 2022 June 27, 2022 8:20 AM June 27, 2022 in News - Local

A Valley airport has seen an increase in demand for air travel over the past few months — and has tips for a hassle-free trip. 

Linda Monroe spent the weekend at South Padre Island, but says she and her family had to delay other trips because of the pandemic. 

“We felt a lot safer traveling than when the pandemic first came around," Monroe said. "There were no vaccines and we didn’t have masks that were really very good.”

Air service and business development director Nicolas Mirman says Valley International Airport in Harlingen has been seeing more passengers over the past three months, hitting record-breaking numbers of 27 to 30 percent more passengers than before the pandemic hit.

“Summer is here," Mirman said. "It has been two very difficult years where we couldn’t really go out. Either go out domestically or now internationally without limitations.”

Mirman says July is one of their busiest months of traveling during the year. 

The airport is focused on balancing the increase in travelers with a staffing shortage within the airlines.

“It has been happening lately and it probably will continue happening due to the peak time in the summer," Mirman said. 

Airlines are seeing a lack of crew members, such as pilots and flight attendants, and in turn, that shortage is affecting airports.

Mirman says those traveling through Valley airports won't deal with as many as the cancellations and delays larger cities are facing, but adds travelers need to pay attention to connecting flights.

Mirman has the following tips for travelers during these busy months:

  • • Fly out on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Fewer people tend to travel those days compared to the weekends.
  • • If it’s an important, can't-miss event, such as a wedding, try arriving a day early instead of the day-of.
  • • Be sure to get to your gate early, at least 45 minutes early because airports are trying to process the increase in passengers.
  • • If you are worried about making it to your destination on time, book the earliest flight. They often fly out on time and if there is a delay, you have the rest of the day to re-book.
  • • Make sure you download the app for the airline you’re traveling with to get your boarding pass, track your bags and check your flight status.

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