(WHTM) — We have all seen the videos of crowds at the airports this summer, as thousands of flights are canceled and delayed every weekend. So, how can you protect yourself if your summer travel plans include flying?

They are calling it the summer of the “flightmare”. With canceled flights and stranded passengers now becoming the norm. No airline is safe American and Delta are now canceling flights due to crew shortages and over-scheduling.

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Thriftytraveler.com said there are things you can do to better your luck:

  • Pick an early morning flight. Delays usually have a domino effect later in the day.
  • Avoid thunderstorm delays by flying in the morning
  • Avoid connections. An extra stop doubles your chance of a cancellation or delay.
  • Scope out your airline’s schedule the days before the flight. If your flight number has been canceled once or twice this week, it may be again for you

But, from the “doesn’t that stink” file: why there’s no guarantee you can simply hop on the next flight if yours is canceled.

The problem, according to Thrifty Traveler, is that most flights are full this summer. So the next flight, as well as the one after that may have no seats for you, which stinks. So make sure your airline’s phone number is on speed dial.

The bottom line? head to the airport assuming there will be a delay so you are better prepared, this way you don’t waste your money