If you’ve reached frequent flier status or purchased premium tickets or priority status, there is a priority line at the check-in counter, or a phone number, where service will be faster, said James Ferrara, the founder of InteleTravel, a global travel adviser network.
Many airlines offer robust and speedy customer service through Twitter. But it’s not the only way to reach them. Call the airline’s international phone line, which won’t be as slammed in a slowdown, said Scott Keyes, the founder of Going.com, a website that sends alerts for travel deals. Delta also has a dedicated hotline for travelers with flights within the next 48 hours, Mr. Keyes added.
Self-rebooking online or through the airline’s app has also gotten easier, experts said.
Mr. McCormick advised travelers to have a backup plan should flights go awry and to select flights “wisely” by assessing your options for connecting flights. He advises avoiding routes that require you to change planes in airports where summer weather like thunderstorms and hurricanes routinely causes cancellations and delays. “Pick different flights,” he said.
One general rule of thumb for summer travel is to book flights departing before 3 p.m., Mr. Ferrara said, adding that cancellations and delays tend to occur later in the day. It’s also always an option to stay home on the holidays, when cancellations and delays tend to cluster, Mr. Ferrara said, or “consider driving.”
If possible, get a nonstop flight and don’t check a bag, Mr. Keyes said.