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Summer air travel has become a nightmare, but it doesn't have to be with a few tips

Welcome to the summer of the flightmare.

TEXAS, USA — If you have plans to fly this summer, don't expect smooth sailing.

Each week, thousands of travelers have been hit with long delays and canceled flights.

We've all seen the video of the crowds at airports as travel woes continue.

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.

And no airline is safe.

RELATED: Travel woes continue after more than 750 flights canceled Sunday

Even American Airlines and Delta are now canceling flights due to crew shortages and overscheduling.

The website Thrifty Traveler says there are things you can do to better your luck at avoiding issues.

First of all, pick an early morning flight. Delays tend to domino later in the day. Flying early in the morning also reduces your chance at thunderstorm delays.

Secondly, avoid connections. An extra stop doubles your chances of a cancellation or delay.

Finally, scope out your airline's schedule in the days leading up to your flight.

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If your flight number has been canceled once or twice this week, it may happen again for you.

So why is there no guarantee you can simply hop on the next flight if yours is canceled?           

Thrifty Traveler says it's because most flights are full this summer.

So the flights following your cancellation may not have seats for you.

Have your airline's phone number on speed dial and head to the airport assuming there could be a delay. That way you're better prepared and you don't waste your money.

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