Local travelers offer 7 tips for booking tickets right now

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“Be patient. Be prepared.”

In December, people waited in line to check their luggage at Boston Logan International Airport. Erin Clark / Globe Staff

For several airlines, notably JetBlue, it has been a busy month full of flight delays and disruptions, frustrating passengers at Logan International Airport.

  • JetBlue announces details of new flights from Boston to London

JetBlue, Logan’s largest carrier, struggled with delays and cancellations in Logan all week, and by late Friday morning, it was responsible for 52 of the 101 airport delays and 13 of 19 airport cancellations, according to the flight tracking website. FlightAware.

The airline apologized to customers earlier this week, noting that staff shortages were a problem, and the airline was adjusting its schedules and reducing the number of summer flights.

“Overall, travel has returned really fast and some airlines are better prepared than others,” said Kristin Chambers, founder and senior travel consultant at DA Luxury Travel and TRAVELLUSTR in Boston.

Chambers and Mary Ann Born, owner of Born to Travel in Hingham, are experienced consultants with 20 years of experience in the business.

Are you worried that your flight will be delayed or canceled? Travel experts have offered the following seven tips for booking tickets right now.

Get travel insurance

Asked if passengers should buy travel insurance, Chambers said, “One hundred percent.”

Born agreed, saying, “It’s gotten even more critical with Covid.”

Travelers can often add insurance when buying tickets, Chambers said. Or passengers can shop, especially if they want insurance to cover accommodation and other aspects of the trip, she said.

“Just read the fine print,” Chambers said. “Look at what it covers. Everything is different. Your flight must be delayed many times, for example, to start coverage. ”

Chambers works with four insurance companies and meets with them every week to keep pace with policy changes.

Buy return tickets

Both experts said it was worth buying a return ticket right now.

“I told my clients that you had to buy everything you could, something that could be returned, even if it cost you a little more money now,” Born said.

If your airline can’t book you in time to hold this special occasion in another city, you can book with another airline knowing you’ll be refunded for a flight that didn’t work out, Chambers said.

It’s a good idea to get acquainted with other flights so you can turn to Plan B immediately, she said.

“You know what your options are,” she said. “Be proactive. When something is canceled, the masses go and rebook, and in a few seconds everything is sold out. So find out now what your options are. Don’t wait for the flight to be canceled. ”

Avoid the busiest travel day

Chambers said it is best to avoid a typically busy travel day.

“If you can, avoid high, high and high travel days if you’re flexible by a few days at each end,” Chambers said. “Maybe try not to travel on the Saturday that starts with the April break. You may go a few days before or a few days after. “

If your airline has waived the change fees, take advantage of it and change your flight ahead of time on a less busy day, Travel said.

“Many of the tickets people now own are free change tickets for Covid,” Born said. “If they’re nervous, they can try to get there a day early if they can.”

Book non-stop flights

Eliminate as many stops as possible when booking non-stop flights, Chambers said. More flights create more accident opportunities.

“If non-stop is additional, pay an additional non-stop fee,” Chambers said.

Avoid short stopovers

If you have to book a transfer flight, avoid short stopovers, Born said.

“You should be afraid to book a flight that will get you in close contact,” Born said.

Make sure you have more than an hour after getting off the plane to get on the next flight, Chambers said.

Book your tickets through your cruise company

For cruise passengers, book a flight through your cruise line, Born said.

“Because if you book air through the cruise line and an error occurs, the cruise line will guarantee that they will get you on the cruise on time,” she said.

A dedicated 24-hour emergency team from the tour company will arrange your transportation and take care of the costs, she said. Cruise companies like Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Azamara have all these services, she said.

For those who book their tickets themselves, remember that changes in the airline can lead to a ship missing, Born said.

So, for example, if your cruise departs on a Saturday, try to book a flight as soon as the previous day, Born said, to have a pillow if your flight is delayed or canceled.

“Try not to get stuck in a corner,” she said.

Be patient

It’s frustrating to deal with delays and cancellations, but try to keep your emotions in check, Chambers said.

“I think everyone in tourism has just gone through – brutally two years – including us -” she said. “I don’t think people have patience with people who will scream and scream.”

The airline staff are doing the best they can, she said.

“Be kind to the airline staff,” she said. “It was brutal.” It was really brutal. Kill them with kindness. Be patient. Be ready.”

“Go out, be brave and travel,” says Born’s message to travelers. “But understand that Covid still exists and there is a possibility that things may happen along the way.”

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