Summer Travel Hurdles to Avoid

With large-scale events taking place in major travel hubs over the next few months, summer travel is predicted to be busier than ever. In a survey of nearly 200 frequent business travelers, more than 40 percent were concerned about longer airport security lines and increased wait times, according to GroundLink, a black car service. Twenty percent of travelers believe airline delays will cause the most stress, followed by 15 percent concerned about unequipped Transportation Security Administration (TSA) staff screening an increased number of passengers. By avoiding certain airports and planning ahead, business travelers can lower the risk of travel-related delays.

Long Airport Lines

Despite the growing list of airport concerns, more than 80 percent of business travelers said they will maintain their travel plans this summer. Fifteen percent said they will plan to avoid airports with long security wait times. According to those surveyed, the top five worst airports for security wait times are: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The worst airports for flight delays are: LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

Expedited Security

More than 57 percent of business travelers surveyed participate in either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry programs, which expedite the security process. Sixty-three percent said these programs are beneficial to passengers, especially during the summer months. Of those not enrolled in either program, 20 percent would apply this summer. Another 36 would not apply, while 43 percent remain undecided.

Political and Olympic Events

This month, the Republican National Convention takes place July 18-21 in Cleveland. A week later, the Democratic National Convention happens July 25-28 in Philadelphia. Travelers are advised to bypass these cities’ airports in the following weeks. Following the U.S. political conventions, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro take place Aug. 5-21, drawing thousands spectators from around the world. It is recommended that business travelers avoid traveling to Brazil next month. The risk of contracting the Zika virus is also present.

Troublesome Travelers

Survey participants pointed to two groups of travelers they believe are likely to cause disruptions. GroundLink reported that 29 percent of respondents were leery of families traveling together, and 28 percent believed male travelers are most likely to cause problems. According to 19 percent, children were very likely to misbehave on flights, and 5 percent thought women were most disruptive.

Unforeseeable Delays

There are always some delays which cannot be predicted or prevented, and most travelers understand the risk of these variables. A small percentage of those surveyed were concerned about such issues, with 5 percent refusing to fly altogether. Weather-related delays, such as summer thunderstorms, troubled 7 percent of travelers. Four percent cited an increase in air turbulence and mechanical issues as cause for alarm. Terrorism and airport safety worried 7 percent of respondents.

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