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How travelers to Europe can cope with summer chaos

Adding to the upheaval, aviation workers in Europe have staged strikes in recent weeks, demanding better working conditions and higher wages to help ease the burden of soaring inflation. Paris Charles de Gaulle airport canceled more than 100 flights Thursday after his union announced a walkout demanding a monthly pay rise of 300 euros for all airport staff, or about $320. More than 360 flights have been canceled in and out of Italian airports last week after air traffic controllers and cabin crew staged a 24-hour strike. Scandinavian Airlines pilots also threatened to going out from the end of June on wage disputes.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of the International Air Transport Association, an airline trade group, said coronavirus policy changes by governments were creating a lot of uncertainty and giving the travel industry little time to prepare for travel to restart after a two-year hiatus.

“It’s no wonder we’re seeing operational delays in some places,” he said.

Be prepared for long lines, flight cancellations and delays, even after arriving at the airport for check-in, as some airlines change flight schedules at the last minute to handle staffing issues . Download your operator’s app to get the latest changes and make it easier to rebook from your phone.

At many European airports, travel experts advise passengers to arrive three to four hours before their scheduled flight to get through long queues. For those traveling from the United States to Europe, try to take the most direct route to your destination and ensure that there are multiple flights scheduled to your final destination in case you transit through a very busy airport. frequented and miss your connection.

Staff shortages at airports have also led to baggage delivery delays, with some passengers waiting up to a week to collect their bags. Some tour operators advise travelers not to check in their luggage, but if traveling light isn’t an option, be sure to pack a hand luggage with essentials for the first few days of your trip.

Earlier this month, Esra Topaz, 22, a fine arts student, flew from Paris to London on a British Airways flight which was delayed for more than five hours; his checked baggage never arrived. After spending three days chasing the airline, her bag was finally delivered to her home, reeking of cheese and other perishables she had brought back from her trip.