Looking to fly this Easter weekend? Flight compensation company AirHelp has released a new analysis of flight disruptions over the holiday period last year to help travelers and travel agents make predictions this year.
During the 2017 Easter season, Good Friday, April 14, 2017, and Easter Monday, April 17, 2017, saw the largest airport crowds, unsurprisingly falling directly before and after the holiday weekend. More than 11,300 flights experienced disruptions, and these were the top 10 most disrupted routes during the 2017 holiday weekend:
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Denver International Airport (DEN) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Based on last year's data, and with Easter and Passover falling on the same weekend in 2018, AirHelp shares insider tips on how to travel seamlessly during this busy weekend.
- Think about selecting an off-peak travel day when booking flights. Traveling to and from your destination on Thursday, March 29, 2018, or Tuesday, April 3, 2018, can help passengers avoid large crowds at the airport, potentially reducing wait time in line for security, helping consumers save money by finding cheaper ticket fares, and minimizing the likelihood of flight disruptions.
- Consider looking into several neighboring airports when booking flights, as some smaller airports may have cheaper ticket fares and better ratings for on-time performance. Many large U.S. cities have more than one major airport within several miles. Booking flights out of less popular airports may save passengers time and money while traveling.
- Know your rights for flight disruptions, as you could be eligible to claim compensation. If you are flying within the U.S. and you are denied boarding due to an overbooked flight, you may be eligible to claim 400 percent of the one-way fare to your destination in compensation, of a value up to $1,350. Also, for flight cancellations or lengthy delays, if you're flying to the EU on an EU airline, or departing from an EU airport, you may be eligible to claim up to $700 per person in compensation under European law EC 261.
- If you experience a flight delay when flying out of or within the EU, keep your boarding pass and all of your receipts in case the delay causes you to spend extra money. If your delay causes you to miss out on a prepaid reservation or incur unanticipated costs, you may be able to claim reimbursement.
- Leave extra time for traveling to and from the airport. Since many people are traveling to see family and friends, anticipate traffic near the airport. Schedule extra time for driving, and be sure to leave ample time to get through lines at security.
"Flight disruptions affect a lot of people during holiday weekends like Easter, and unfortunately, since 92 percent of U.S. passengers don't understand their rights, airlines take advantage of uninformed consumers," said Henrik Zillmer, CEO of AirHelp, in a written statement. "We urge passengers to read up on their rights for disruptions, luggage issues, and overbooked flights to ensure that they are not missing out on compensation they may become legally entitled to claim if they experience disruptions while traveling during Easter weekend."