With customer complaints up 60% and operational performance at an all-time low, it's not a good time for the airline industry—or its passengers. CNN offers these tips to fractious fliers:
- Research, research, research: Check out airline performance at FlightStats.com or FlightAware.com before buying your ticket, book a flight during an airport’s least congested times (midday or late night).
- Be prepared: Fly early to increase your chances of making another flight if yours is canceled, and arm yourself with a list of alternatives in advance to avoid the gate-agent-stampede.
- The one-bag rule: If you don't check a bag, the airline can't lose it. If you absolutely must check a bag, never put valuables in it.
- Know your rights: Read your carrier's contract of carriage to know what you're entitled to. International flights tend to be more generous.