Avoid a travel nightmare!
However, a Calgary Airport worker has shared some of his top travel hacks for the summer and what you definitely should be doing to make sure travelling through the terminal is stress-free.
Andy Davis, terminal operations director at YYC Calgary International Airport told Narcity his best advice to navigating the airport like a pro and getting your summer vacation off to the best start.
Arriving early is key
While Canadian airports (and airports around the world) are seeing delays, arriving earlier than you'd usually plan to is absolutely key to both you and your bags making it on board the aircraft, Davis said.
For domestic flights, two and a half hours should be plenty of time to get through any lines at the check-in desk or security. For international, you should leave three and a half hours, he explained.
"Some international flights still require documentation about your vaccination status and that can take a little bit longer. With the time it takes to get through security, that should just give you an extra buffer," he said.
"Think about the journey a suitcase might take through an airport. If you arrive three hours before your flight, there's a lot more chance the bag will be exactly where it needs to be in that time," he said.
Refamiliarize yourself with the rules
Before you pack your cabin bag, make sure you've checked out what can and can't be taken on board as these things can make lines at security even longer.
"It really adds to the queues if every other person has to take stuff out of their baggage," Davis said.
Also, it's important for Canadians to remember face masks as they're still mandatory in airports.
Davis said they have seen a lot of people at the Calgary airport turning up and "realizing they need a mask to go through security and to get on the aircraft. It's definitely worth carrying a few extra masks around."
Keep receipts and you could get money back
If you are delayed – and let's face it that's not too uncommon these days– Davis said you could be entitled to compensation from your airline so it's super important to hold on to evidence of any extra expenses you might have.
"Keep all your documentation relating to your flight. Not only your boarding card, but any other expenses that you may have had to incur as a result of a delay or a cancellation," he said.
It might be worth taking photos of receipts, or scanning or photocopying them so you have as much detail on hand as possible.
"You could be asked for these things six months down the line so it's useful to make sure you've got everything together right at the time of your delay," he said.
Think about avoiding peak times and holidays
Much like rush hour traffic, airports also have peak travel times where lines are likely to be longer. You should try avoiding those times if you can to make your experience as stress-free as possible.
For Calgary Airport, Davis said the two busiest times are between 8 and 10 a.m. and then from 5 to 7 p.m.
While you'll still be able to make it through the airport, "outside of those hours is generally a lot quieter," he said.
Another mistake people usually make is thinking travelling on stat holidays will be less busy than a regular day.
"People always say it's going to be nice and quiet but that's not necessarily the case. They tend to be really busy, especially if airlines have discounted prices. So always just bear that in mind," Davis said.