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Summer travel tips from UC Travel

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Summer is here and Californians are once again hitting the tarmac and the open road. If you and your loved ones must travel this year, be sure to start by reviewing the CDC’s before you travel page.

UC Travel has also compiled helpful advice for business and leisure travelers alike. Follow these tips for an easier, less stressful work trip or vacation.

Note: To view the links below, you’ll need to log in to Connexxus

Why is travel so busy this year?

  • There has been a steady return of post-pandemic business travel — especially conferences — which is also leading to more blended business and leisure trips.
  • Many people have been eager to return to leisure travel. This has led to an increase in domestic and international travel — from flights to road trips.

What are some of the issues I might face as a traveler?

  • Excessive wait times in TSA, passport and customs lines — even for people with TSA Precheck and Global Entry
  • Airline cancellations, schedule changes and delays, oftentimes due to pilot shortages
  • Long car rental lines, hotels check-in delays and extended airline and travel agency hold times, due to customer service representative burnout
  • Airport restaurants and stores closed or with limited hours
  • Delays in getting passports and TSA benefits, such as global entry or precheck (although TSA is piloting remote interviews and allowing some extensions)
  • Increased rates for airfare, car rentals and hotels (Make sure to take advantage of UC’s travel perks! Watch a video to learn more.

What can I do to make summertime travel less stressful?

  • Plan and book ahead as much as possible. Due to a nationwide car rental shortage, your vehicle needs may dictate the rest of your trip. Watch our recorded webinar on why it’s important to have proof of your UC employment or association when choosing a UC-preferred car rental.
  • Arrive early. To account for long TSA, passport-check or customs lines, arrive at the airport at least three hours before domestic departures and four hours before international departures. Our airline suppliers indicate that some international airports — London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam Schiphol and Lisbon de Lisboa — have excessive wait times from one to four hours, sometimes longer.
  • Sign up for mileage and loyalty programs with any airline, hotel or car rental company you plan on booking. While doing so will not provide full protection from travel issues, there may be a service difference between those who are members and those who are not. For car rentals, members may be able to skip excessively long lines at the airport counter.
  • Book the first flight of the day out to your destination. Delays can compound throughout the day. If possible, book nonstop flights.
  • Take note of airline schedule changes, but do not act on them immediately, unless your flight is within a couple of days of the change. Watch our webinar on schedule changes to learn more about why you should research your options, from full cancellations to destination changes to airline switches.
  • Understand your rights and options in the event of major cancellations or excessive delays.
  • Check your flight status within 24 hours of departure.

Have questions as a UC Traveler? Contact uctravel@ucop.edu.

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