Expect Memorial Day ‘flightmares,’ warns travel expert


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Travel experts warn that the first summer since pandemic restrictions have begun to lift will bring a surge in passenger numbers that could lead to delays, disruptions, postponements or even cancellations of flights.

Many restrictions introduced more than two years ago have been lifted, but with the lingering presence of Covid, airline, airport and hospitality industry workers are facing increased demand for their services in the face of staffing shortages.

Rose Ackermann, Executive Editor at Family Destinations Guide said the increased number of travelers will have an impact on waiting times between check-in counters, security screenings 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,” Ackermann said.

The cost of tickets has increased as well. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average price of a domestic flight in Tennessee is currently $329.30, which is higher than the national average of $327.13.

The TSA reports air passenger traffic is also expected to be especially heavy in peak periods, either equal to or greater than in previous years, for the first time since the pandemic began.


According to Family Destinations Guide, here are 4 pieces of advice to consider before traveling this season:

  • Aim for flights that depart early in the day. This way, if your flight is canceled last minute, your chances of getting rebooked on the same day are significantly higher.
  • Anticipate delays and plan accordingly. Remember to leave extra time between stops on your itinerary so that major delays only upset a limited number of your plans.
  • Review your travel insurance policy. Since the travel industry is quite unpredictable in the face of the changing pandemic landscape, this is a more practical consideration than it already might have been.
  • Exercise patience with airport and airline staff. The processes may be slower than the last time you traveled, as the industry is still attempting to recover. Remember that you’re dealing with fellow humans, not robots.





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Memorial Day weekend travel is expected to increase this year


For many people memorial day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. AAA predicts that more than 39.2 million people will travel this holiday weekend.

Whether it’s by car, airplane, or by even by train travel numbers are expected to increase 8.3% over last year.

According to Triple-A, three million people are expected to take to the skies this holiday. San Luis Obispo Airport officials say they are seeing an uptick in traffic and are approaching pre-COVID passenger numbers.

“We have 14 flights coming in a day and 14 flights going out. Planes are almost full if not at capacity,” said SLO County Airport Deputy Director, Courtney Pene, “people need to remember to be patient and be kind because everyone wants to go somewhere fun.”

Others chose to hit the road despite record-breaking gas prices.

“We pre-planned for it you know, but you only get to go out once so let’s just take a road trip,” said Lancaster resident Keith Blackwell.

Triple-A predicts that a total of 34.9 million people will travel by car this Memorial Day.

“We all budget and everything, but these gas prices are killing. I think our dad paid 140 just coming this way and he does come in a truck so,” said Christine Sanmiguel from Visalia California.





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BBB shares travel scams, tips ahead of Memorial Day


JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Summer is rapidly approaching and many people are planning to take a vacation, but beware – scammers are making plans too.

The Better Business Bureau wants you to be wary of false promises and a sense of urgency that can fool you into paying for something that doesn’t exist.

There are five common scams to avoid, the BBB says.

1. Vacation Rental Con:

Watch out for listings for properties that either aren’t for rent, don’t exist, or are significantly different than pictured. These con artists lure in vacationers with the promise of low fees and great amenities. The “owner” creates a false sense of urgency – such as telling potential clients that another vacationer is interested in the rental – to get payment up before doing sufficient research or questioning the legitimacy of the ad. The BBB warns you to talk with the owner by phone and check public records before paying for any type of rental property.

2. “Free” Vacation Scams:

When a cruise or travel company advertises a vacation as “free,” it does not necessarily mean the trip is entirely without cost or restrictions. Watch out for add-on fees for air transportation to the port, port charges, taxes, tips, and other undisclosed fees.

3. Hotel Scams:

When staying in a hotel, beware of techniques used to get ahold of credit card information, such as fake calls from the front desk, free wi-fi skimming, and fake food delivery. Scammers count on travelers – tourists and business people alike — being tired or in a hurry. Pay close attention and watch out for these tricks:

4. Third Party Booking Site Scams:

If you book your airfare, hotel or other travel through a third-party website, be sure to use caution. In the most common scam, the BBB says travelers pay with a credit card. Shortly after making the payment, receive a call from the company asking to verify the name, address, banking information, or other personal details – something a legitimate company would never do. 

5. Timeshare Reselling Cons:

Scammers may claim to specialize in timeshare resales and promise they have buyers ready to purchase. To secure this service, the scammer pressures the target into paying an upfront fee. The timeshare owner pays up, but the reselling agent never delivers.

Here are four tips for avoiding scams:

  • Look for reviews and ask for references. While vetting hotels, travel companies, vacation rentals, and more, check BBB.org for reviews and complaints. Look for photos and a variety of reviews. If the property or company doesn’t have any online reviews, ask for references and call them.
  • Avoid wiring money or using a prepaid debit card. These payments are the same as sending cash. Once the money is sent, there is no way to get it back. Paying with a credit card the charges can be disputed and dramatically limit liability from a fraudulent purchase.
  • A great deal probably isn’t the truth. Scammers lure in targets by guaranteeing an amazing trip at a very low price. Research it first. If the hotel, travel, or tour is much cheaper than similar options, be suspicious.
  • Do some snooping. Check the website for links to the company’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts. If they do have social media accounts, check their activity and see if any other users have left reviews or voiced complaints. Also, look for typos and pixelated images. These mistakes are signs of a scammer, not a company that cares about its online presence.

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Copyright 2022 WLBT. All rights reserved.



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Expect delays over Memorial Day weekend


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The El Paso International Airport is preparing for a busy summer travel season that kicks off Memorial Day weekend.

People traveling through the airport over the Memorial Day weekend could face longer wait times, officials said in a news release.

Passengers are strongly encouraged to arrive at the airport at least two hours before their departure, the release said.

“We are excited to welcome more passengers this summer as we have more available seats than we have had in the past few years, including 2019,” El Paso Aviation Director Sam Rodriguez said in the news release. “The fact that we have over 1,000 more seats per day for passengers to fly this summer is an impressive result of our City’s strategic plan for economic recovery and the strong response from our community and region.”

More: El Pasoans can show support, unity for Uvalde school shooting victims on Sunday

More: Giant distribution center for Marshalls stores takes shape on airport land in East El Paso

More: El Paso airport traffic grows in 2021, but lags pre-pandemic levels as more flights sought

Memorial Day weekend typically is one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

More than 30,000 passengers are expected to use the airport over the holiday weekend, city officials said.

The airport will average 53 daily flights in June, an additional nine flights per day, up from 44 in May, officials said.

The additional traffic is due to recently added flights to the popular tourist destinations of Austin, Orlando and San Diego, as well as additional flights to the major markets of Dallas, Las Vegas and Houston.

Due to the number of added flights, there is a potential for longer wait times for both check-in and security lines, especially for early morning flights, the news release said. The security checkpoint opens by 4 a.m.

Travelers are urged to review the current identification requirements and screening procedures for traveling with liquids, gels and aerosols by visiting TSA.gov or by contacting the Transportation Security Administration directly by tweeting @AskTSA. People also may sign up for TSA PreCheck to expedite the screening process.

A video showcasing tips for first-time flyers is available at: https://elpasointernationalairport.com/before-you-travel/first-time-flyers/

More information: http://flyelpaso.com



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Memorial Day weekend travel, safety tips for Kentuckians


LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Memorial Day weekend coupled with great weather means boating, swimming, and traveling for many Kentuckians. Here are some tips to stay safe and reduce pocketbook stress for your holiday weekend.

Car travel

With nearly 40,000,000 people expected to travel, AAA said morning travel is usually best. With bad drive times typically being from noon to 7 p.m.

Drivers looking to save on rising gas prices might benefit from slowing down between five and 10 mph, with 60 mph being the “sweet spot.”

Those looking to fill up their tanks should take a second to shop around and use tools like GasBuddy to compare prices.

Flying

If you are flying, those Monday tickets tend to be the cheapest. You might want to avoid the TSA screening checks before 7 a.m. or between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., as those are the busiest times and you might have your longest wait.

Water safety

Kentucky’s lakes and rivers are expected to be packed with pontoons and speed boats this Memorial weekend, but officials said it’s worth stopping to think about the dangers before you pull up the boat’s anchor.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more and more Kentuckians have bought boats, many with no boating experience.

Last year, fish and wildlife reported 17 boating-related deaths in Kentucky’s waters. Officers said it’s the decisions you make before you start your engine that will make a difference this season.

“We just want people to think about what they are doing. be aware of their surroundings. be safe. we want people to enjoy it and have a good weekend. but we want them to come home and move on with the rest of the summer,” said Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officer Mike Pritchard.

Officers also said everyone on board a boat must have a life jacket and every boat should have a throwable float in case someone falls overboard.

In case you need help, every boat should have a whistle or horn to get someone’s attention and officials remind boaters to check their fire extinguishers because they often explode in the winter.



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Elizabeth Carey of AAA talks Memorial Day travel on News 4 at 4


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Updated:

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Many people are planning on hitting the road or have booked flights for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Elizabeth Carey, PR director for AAA of Western and Central New York joined News 4 at 4 Friday to discuss what travelers can expect.

The full interview can be seen above.



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Beachgoers brave nasty travel conditions to enjoy Memorial Day Weekend at shore


Afternoon storms didn’t stop flocks of beachgoers from braving nasty weather conditions and traffic to get a jump start on Memorial Day Weekend.

A cluster of strong storms barreled over parts of the Delaware Valley on Friday, brining heavy rain and severe weather warnings. The National Weather Service issued brief tornado warnings for a pair of New Jersey counties during rush hour. 

The storms couldn’t have come at a worse time for vacationers eager to spend the long weekend enjoying the New Jersey shore. George Fraioli and Ryan McShane said they left for Wildwood right after work and joined a cavan of beachgoers. 

Beachgoers flocked to the New Jersey shore to enjoy Memorial Day Weekend.

“It was horrible,” McShane said. “Soon as we got on 95 we were like bumper-to-bumper traffic. There was an accident that we saw, but after that it cleared up, so we were cruising along.”

The storms started to move off-shore around 6 p.m., which helped make driving conditions slightly more tenable. Sarah Kemeter headed to Brigantine on Friday and said she missed the worst of the rain and traffic. 

The storms and traffic were just minor annoyances to handle in return for what forecasters believe will be a very enjoyable weekend at the shore. FOX 29’s Scott Williams is forecasting three days of mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid-to-low 70s. 



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Memorial Day travel tips from the Hwy Patrol


Miss. (WDAM) – It’s a holiday weekend which means a lot of people are packing their bags and hitting road.

Despite rising gas prices, many people still plan to get on the road to visit family and friends. More people, means more troopers.

Mississippi highway patrol said they will be on alert and in full force this weekend with different safety checkpoints set up along the state and federal highways. State Trooper Taylor Shows said for drivers to make sure they have their registration, insurance and driver’s license on hand.

“Help us by helping yourself,” said Shows. “Stay off the phone. Click it or ticket. Pay attention to the speed limit, and make sure you stay as close to it as possible; that way you won’t get to meet one of us on the side of the road.”

Shows also said there will be special duty troopers on the roads looking for drugs, money trafficking and human trafficking. He hopes everyone has safe travels this weekend.

Copyright 2022 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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Healthcare Officials Offer Memorial Day Weekend Safety Tips


(KNSI) – Officials are reminding people to have a safe Memorial Day weekend as travel numbers are expected to be back at pre-pandemic levels.

CentraCare Health’s Doctor George Morris says the unofficial kickoff to summer is usually when the first water-related injuries show up at the hospital.

“Be careful in or around the water. Don’t dive into shallow areas. This is a case where we’ve really seen huge losses, just traumatic injuries for that one. Be sure you have your life jacket on.”

He also says to avoid mixing alcohol or other drugs when on the water or driving.

“Be careful about drinking alcohol or other drugs around the water. That’s a key thing. Please don’t use it when operating vehicles, whether those are ATVs, motor vehicles, or motorcycles. Think about being safer on water and being safer around vehicles.”

Dr. Morris, a veteran, asks people to take time to enjoy the long weekend.

“I would like everyone to really take this time to enjoy your family, your friends. And then for Memorial Day, think about the sacrifices. Over a million service members that have died in active duty.”

On Thursday, CentraCare Health held a special flag-raising ceremony in honor of those who lost their lives defending America.

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Yeager sees spike in travel, 75th anniversary events kick off this Memorial Day weekend


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — First time flyer Gianni Shortt, of St. Albans, says he’s heading to Florida to be with his family this Memorial Day weekend.

“This is my first time flying. My dad has flown before and my brother and sister have, but I have never flown,” he said.

Shortt, 14, told MetroNews it hasn’t been an easy journey so far. He and his dad were scheduled to catch a flight out of West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW) to Washington Dullus International Airport Friday morning, but they were by about six hours.

“My dad got me a window seat. I was excited, but we got delayed a lot,” Shortt said.

More than 700 flyers passed through the TSA checkpoint Thursday, the busiest travel day of the week, according to airport spokesperson Rachel Urbanski.

The start of the holiday weekend comes as the same time the airport kicks off events to celebrated their 75th anniversary of commercial flights.

“We have historical aircraft. It’ll be a B-17 Yankee Lady coming in today and tomorrow. We also have some other dates schedule in June, July, August and October,” she said.

Many flyers were delayed Friday due to storms in the Washington, D.C. area where most had connecting flights. William Bailey is originally from Poca and said he was trying to get to his new home in Maine.

“Found out they got tornado warnings there,” Bailey said. “All D.C. flights are canceled for the best because of safety and so now I’m trying to find a flight to get back to Maine.”

Travel is expected to be busy throughout the weekend with a lot of return flights on Monday.

Urbanski said a lot of people depend on the airport to get to where they need to be. Over the years, they’ve opened a U.S. Customs facility to increase international travel.

“We’ve become more attractive to international business and helping with that local economic impact as well,” Urbanski said.

She also noted a lot has changed in the last 75 years, including a name change and full re-brand.

“We’re really proud just how far we’ve come, but we’re really proud that we’ve maintained our roots while also being steadfast in our journey for the future of aviation,” she said.

The airport has several planned events to mark the milestone anniversary, including hosting a Business After Hours in the Bill Noe Flight School’s hangar in June. There will be historic aircraft visits at the outdoor viewing area or playground located off Eagle Mountain Road.

Below are the list of events planned this year:

• May 28 – 29 Memorial Day Weekend: B-17 Yankee Lady
• June 18-19: C-47 Hairless Joe
• July 2-4: DC-3 Flagship Detroit
• July 2: Marshall’s Bill Noe Flight school open house
• August 13-14: B-25 Rosie’s Ripley
• October 25-30: CAF Red Tail Exhibit



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