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4 must-knows for summer travel

June 28, 2023

Travel demand is roaring back and summer has already been busy, with passenger numbers approaching 2019 levels. We want you to have a stress-free summer vacation so here are some things to be aware of before you take flight this summer.


Nothing can start your trip off on the wrong foot like a bad experience with luggage at the airport. Most airlines have a weight limit (typically 50 pounds) for checked luggage and if you exceed that limit, you will be shuffling items into a carry-on. Not fun! Be mindful of how full you’re packing your suitcase and make use of a bathroom scale at home. Also, make sure any liquids that are more than 3.4 oz are in a checked bag. Speaking of liquids, bags will be moved around and pressure changes during flight can cause containers to expand and contract so make sure lids are tightly sealed.


If you’ve been searching for summer airfare, you’ve probably noticed prices are high. This is the case across many airlines, with few exceptions (like some of the ultra-low-cost-carriers i.e. Allegiant). Airports that have a large volume of daily flights also benefit from the competition, leaving smaller airports in the lurch. So what’s causing the swing in pricing? For one, the surge in demand. Demand is exceeding what airlines can manage, and resource constraints are still making it challenging to bring more flights online. That means the few seats that are available come at a premium. While super cheap airfare can be difficult to find, there are still ways to find the best deals available. Start looking early, and check out our article, “How to Score the Best Airfare Deals.”

Staffing Shortages

Staffing shortages are impacting the number of flights available and how much time it takes to prepare each plane for arrival and departure. The air travel industry is heavily regulated for safety purposes and that means for many jobs, there is a minimum number of staff required to do a certain job – like air marshalling (bringing the plane into the gate), and a maximum number of hours allowed to do other jobs (pilots and flight attendants). For airports, it could be a limited number of TSA agents, fewer concessions available, unpredictable rental car counter availability and airline support roles, like ticket and gate counter agents, baggage handling, etc. All that’s to say – patience, politeness and preparation are key. Prepare for things to take a little longer and be kind to those managing higher than normal workloads.


Intense summer storms can potentially delay travel plans – and it doesn’t have to be the weather where you’re currently sitting or where you’re trying to go that can impact your flight schedule. It could be a nasty storm on your flight path, or maybe your plane is making its way from a completely different destination. When it comes to weather, airline networks are complex, and every airline manages flight crews differently. Airlines look several steps ahead to see how delaying or canceling one flight may impact flights all over the country or even world. So be aware that sunny skies aren’t the only factor for a smooth flight. Check out this quick guide on different ways to monitor your flight and have your airline information handy in case you need to rebook. Warm weather can also mean more turbulence even if it’s perfectly clear out of your window. Please follow all flight attendant instructions and stay buckled up even if the seatbelt sign is turned off.

Often times, the bigger the airport, the bigger the challenges and frustrations become. There are some things you can rely on at MLI – short, easy check-in process, fast security screening (average wait time is less than 10 minutes!) and friendly staff to guide you. For more travel tips, be sure to check out Summer Travel Do’s and Don’ts.

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