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Summer hasn’t even officially begun yet, and already, the TSA has set a new record for the number of airline passengers and crew members screened in a single day. Nearly 2.8 million people went through airport security checkpoints on the Friday before Memorial Day. Airlines expect a record number of passengers over the next three months. When it comes to the summer travel season, try to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your domestic departure and three hours or international travel, to make sure you have enough time to get through security and board your flight. If you’re flying this summer, prepare to wait.
In 2018, travelers at major airports left nearly one million dollars – $960,105 – in change at TSA checkpoints. While most of this unclaimed money is U.S. currency ($874,175), others is foreign ($85,930 in U.S. dollars). The TSA documents and uses these funds for checkpoint training, maintenance and signage. You know which airport gained the most from items left at TSA checkpoints?
John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY – $72,392 in 2018
Here are some other ways to save on your summer getaway
Consider off-peak travel days
A recent report from Hipmunk notes that the Friday before each of the summer holidays (Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day weekend) is the most expensive day to fly by $100 or more. Tuesday is the least expensive day of the week to fly, and departing on any Thursday during summer break is the most expensive. If you have some flexibility in your travel dates, keeping these trends in mind can help you save hundreds of dollars. But no matter what you do, taking the time to compare pricing across several groups of dates will always yield the best results. Travel discount websites like Expedia or Priceline can make it easy to find the cheapest combinations of travel dates, but you can also search for the best airfare pricing on Google Flights. Hopper notes that the best way to find the best pricing is by using their app, which it claims predicts airfare pricing up to one year in advance with 95 percent accuracy.
Save money on hotels
Booking early is the best way to save on hotel stays. If it’s too late to book early, opt for early-week travel — as in Monday through Wednesday nights. Also consider hotels that are slightly removed from your target destination, such as those just outside city centers or major tourist sites.
Use credit card rewards
Finally, there’s a reason so many families lean on credit card rewards to fund all or part of their summer travels. Airline miles can help reduce the cost of flights down to just government-mandated taxes and fees, and hotel points can be used to stay entirely free around the world. Flexible travel credit from cards can also be used to cover any type of travel without fear of blackout dates or capacity controls. If you don’t have any rewards to spend quite yet, most travel credit cards offer a big signup bonus after you meet a minimum spending requirement within a few months. By signing up now, you can earn rewards on your summer travel and have some points to spend the next time around.
Straightline Collision is available to make any collision repairs you might need while away on these summer travels. Please stop by for a free estimate at 2912 Arthur Kill Rd, Staten Island, NY 10309 or call us at 718.966.8900 Monday through Friday from 7:30am-5:00pm to speak to our expertly trained staff.