Sydney Airport flight delays: How to avoid a pocket slam amid flight cancellations and airport chaos

The flight cancellations and airport chaos that plague the school holidays don’t seem to be calming down anytime soon, but there’s a way to save your wallet, if not your patience.

Millions of Australians have been told to prepare for long delays and cancellations as travelers flock to the country’s airports for a mid-year break.

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Weather conditions and staff shortages led to dozens of flight cancellations on Friday and Saturday, leaving thousands of frustrated travelers stranded across the country as airports face one of the busiest weekends since the start of the pandemic.

Talk to SunriseFinder’s Tim Bennett says chaos isn’t likely to set in anytime soon, but there’s a small price you can pay to ensure your vacation isn’t ruined by an unexpected surprise.

Bennett says it’s essential to have travel insurance for domestic travel, as well as international travel, to ensure individuals avoid losing money on delayed or canceled flights and subsequent expenses.

“If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel…it might be worth considering.”

Almost half a million travelers are expected to pass through Australian airports this weekend. Credit: 7NEWS

Travel insurance is not something most Australians would consider for domestic holidays, with just 6% saying they are likely to consider meeting the cost.

“It’s not just the cost of the flight. It’s things like accommodations, extra trips or extra meals,” Bennett said.

“If you miss a booking, travel insurance can often recoup the costs.”

Dozens of flights were canceled this weekend. Credit: 7NEWS

But is it worth adding the extra cost to your travel budget?

“It’s about $6 a day for your trip…up to maybe $14 a day for a more advanced policy,” he said.

“It will cover you anywhere from a few thousand dollars to unlimited emergency expenses.

“For a little more a day, you can have peace of mind.”

Bennett says some travel insurance policies allow for a range of expenses you might not think about when booking a vacation, like car rental excess or COVID-19-related expenses.

“Things that could go wrong with additional variance can potentially be hedged.”

Weather conditions and staff shortages led to severe flight disruptions. Credit: 7NEWS

And while airlines are working tirelessly to get school vacations back on track, Bennett says the travel slump could continue into next year.

“I don’t want to steal Christmas, but I don’t think we can be particularly sure things will get better.”

Experts recommend getting travel insurance for domestic trips. Credit: 7NEWS

Bennett says labor, fuel cost and inflation are all contributing to the current flight disruptions.

“I recommend that you purchase travel insurance as soon as you book the trip… Don’t wait until the last minute.

“If you’re planning those Christmas trips, maybe go a little earlier or a little later.

“Avoid really bad spikes.”

Travelers are warned to book well in advance and avoid peak travel times. Credit: 7NEWS

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