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Preparing for a busy holiday travel weekend

According to AAA, more than three million Americans are expected to fly during the Fourth of July weekend.

INDIANAPOLIS — Many Hoosiers are getting ready to travel for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend.

According to AAA, more than three million Americans are expected to fly. Airlines and travelers are bracing for shortages, flight delays and cancellations.

"Something is always going to happen," said Wesley Cruz, a frequent traveler.

Cruz is a traveling chef who said he experiences delays and cancellations often.

"I'm preparing myself that something is going to happen, so I schedule myself like around something happening," said Cruz. "I have extra days so I can handle it."

To help alleviate some of the pressure, Delta Airlines is offering passengers waivers to change their flights for free. Waivers are normally extended for bad weather and are limited to specific airports.

Passengers won't have to pay a fare difference if they change tickets booked for July 1 through July 4, but they will have to keep their same destination and take a new trip by July 8.

"What Delta seems to be doing is just accepting the fact that it's going to be a busy weekend," said David Slotnick, senior aviation business reporter with The Points Guy. "Their operation isn't where it should be and they are basically giving passengers an out. They're saying if you don't want to put up with this, this is a way to avoid the hassle and try again later."

RELATED: Delta issues 'systemwide' travel waiver for July 4 weekend

Slotnick said the pilot shortage isn't new. It's an issue that's been going on for decades and a concern that may not be solved in the near future.

"One of the tricky things is when you're actually booking your flight and just knowing that it's actually going to happen," said Slotnick. "A handful of airlines have cut routes. They've cut frequencies, and it's just a way of sort of trimming back their schedule and adding some slack because they don't have the staff to really service it."

Slotnick said passengers should keep checking their flight because many changes happen 24 to 48 hours before takeoff.

Cruz said if you're going to travel, plan ahead.

"If you have a vacation for like two weeks and you're expecting to have those two weeks, get extra days just in case something is going to happen," he said.

    

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