Tips to Beat the Summer Travel Crush

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," May 29, 2006, that was edited for clarity.

TERRY KEENAN, GUEST HOST: More people expected to travel in the month of July than any time in American history. And there are 700 fewer planes to travel in than this time last year, this as the airlines try to cut their costs. Well, you do the math.

Tom Parsons says, brace yourself for chaos at the airports this summer. He is the CEO of, and joins with the bad news.

Tom, you know, it seems like every summer is always going to be the worst, and then it sort of turns out to be the worst, and there's these long delays. How bad is this year going to be?

TOM PARSONS, CEO, BESTFARES.COM: Well, I guess we can look at how bad it has already been.

I mean, right now, every airplane I have been on in the last three or four months, during spring break, this April and May, have just been jampacked.

Imagine now, when everybody is out of school, business travelers are now traveling with their families. You're not flying with "onesies" and "twosies," but you're flying with threes and fours. You have got people getting on an airplane for the first time ever. You have got other people going through the new TSA. They don't know about the 50-pound minimum on the luggage. And they're arguing with the airline, saying, why are you charging me 25 bucks for a 52-pound bag?

And some airlines are even charging two bucks. So, we're going to have some aggravation, just because people don't know what is ahead of them.

And, then, you have got the TSA. And I just think, this summer, just be well-prepared and get to the airport — probably as soon as you can. Maybe add an extra 30 minutes, even to an hour, because you just can't afford anything to go wrong.

KEENAN: So, add 30 minutes to an hour to the usual two hours you would set aside for a foreign flight?

PARSONS: Oh, for a foreign flight, I would definitely add an extra hour, because you may never get there after that.


PARSONS: But, on the domestic routes, if you have been doing an hour, an hour and 15 minutes, I would still probably take that even up to an hour and 45 minutes to two hours.

The airplanes have very little wiggle room for error. And if we have bad weather, like Houston had today, and Dallas had some last-minute thunderstorms, some cancellations, or if you get to the airport late, and you don't make that 30- or 40-minute check-in, whatever that airline requires, if they deny boarding to you, you may be there for hours, even maybe have to come back the next day, because there's just no space left over for anybody who — who decides to get there late.

KEENAN: It's summer. It's hot. You don't need to wear too much or bring too much with you. Couldn't travelers help everyone out by packing a little lighter and carrying on their own bags?

PARSONS: Well, I think that's what I do. I mean, it's very rare I will check a bag, because I don't want to be put in that statistics of 30 million bags being misplaced every year. That's number one.

Number two is, some airlines are charging to check your bags at the gate. Number three is, that's one more check-in spot that I don't need to be in. And it could be 10, 15, 20 minutes or longer. And, again, by checking it, I know I have my merchandise with me. And I don't mind, you know, going through the security.

KEENAN: All right. And you get out of the airport faster when you land, too.

Thanks, Tom, Tom Parsons.

PARSONS: Thank you.

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