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The start of the summer travel season in Europe has been marred by chaos at airports and popular tourist destinations as airlines, government agencies and industry operators struggle to meet travel demand.

Travel experts warn that the situation will get worse as more people decide to travel after the Biden administration dropped its requirement for international air travel to be tested for coronaviruses.

Over the last two weeks, hundreds of flights have been canceled and delayed at European airports. Passengers waited up to six hours in security lines at London's Heathrow and Amsterdam's Schiphol airports.

"It was just huge crowds of confused and frustrated people everywhere and no information," said Glass, who arrived at Heathrow earlier this month to find her flight to Toronto had been canceled. I sat on my suitcase and cried after an hour of walking.

In the United States, airports and airlines face labor shortages, adverse weather conditions, and a rise in worker coronaviruses, but wait times, delays, and cancellation have not reached the same level. More than 2,800 flights were canceled and over 20,000 flights were delayed over the Memorial Day weekend, and several air carriers are reducing their summer schedules to prevent further disruptions.

If you are planning to travel to Europe this summer, here are some tips on how to prepare.

The travel industry says it's the perfect storm. Travel companies are struggling to staff their operations after the lifting of coronaviruses travel restrictions across Europe.

Many of the people who were laid off from airports and airlines are reluctant to return to their old jobs because of the low pay and long hours they were offered. Many jobs are not likely to be filled in time for summer travel because of the time it takes to recruit and train new staff.

Frank Oostdam is the director of the Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators, a representative body for the travel industry.

Aviation workers in Europe have held strikes in recent weeks in order to get better working conditions and higher salaries. The Paris Charles de Gaulle airport was forced to cancel more than 100 flights on Thursday because of a strike. Air traffic controllers and cabin crew went on strike last week, causing more than 350 flights to be canceled. The pilots of the airline have threatened to walk out in the middle of the summer.

Willie Walsh, director general for the International Air Transport Association, said that coronaviruses policy changes by governments created a lot of uncertainty and gave the travel industry little time to prepare for the restart of travel.

He said that it is no wonder that some locations are experiencing delays.

Even after you arrive at the airport for check-in, you should be prepared for long lines and flight delays because some airlines are changing flight schedules at the last minute. You can download your carrier's app to get the most up-to-the minute changes.

Travelers are advised to arrive three to four hours before their flights to avoid long lines. If you're traveling from the United States to Europe, it's a good idea to take the most direct route and make sure there are several flights scheduled to your final destination.

Some passengers have to wait up to a week to get their luggage back because of the staff shortages at airports. If traveling light is not an option, you should pack a carry-on with essential items for the first few days of your trip.

Esra Topaz, a fine arts student, flew from Paris to London on a British Airways flight that was delayed for more than five hours. Her bag was finally delivered to her house after she spent three days chasing the airline.

She said that she was on the phone for hours trying to find her bag. They didn't know which flight my bag was on.

Peter Vlitas is the executive vice president of partner relations for Internova Travel Group, which represents more than 70% of the world's travel advisers. If your flight is canceled when you land in Europe because of capacity issues or strikes, you can take a train or ferry to get to your destination. He said there are other ways to get there.

It could. During the summer months of July and August, travel industry representatives and unions expect the disruptions to get worse. The Biden administration dropped the requirement for a negative coronaviruses test before flying to the United States.

Mr. Vlitas thinks travel operators won't be able to handle the demand this month because the US will not lift its testing requirement until July.

He said that it would compound the issues we are facing now.

According to a recent study by Skyscanner, many Americans who have put off international travel due to the swine flu are looking for opportunities to travel spontaneously this summer. The study shows that searches for cheap flights anywhere are up 600 percent and searches for how to book a same day flight are up 200 percent.

Adrian Lee, a structural engineer from Houston, said he has price alert set up on several online travel sites so he can catch a last minute deal for a vacation to Europe with his wife.

He said in an email that they were dying to get out. Everything is expensive right now, so we are waiting for the best deal.

If your flight is canceled or you decide not to travel, both American and European carriers must give you a refunds. They don't have to compensate you for pre booked services on your trip.

According to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association, travel insurance policies vary and may only provide limited coverage, so it's a good idea to read the fine print. It is a good idea to opt for the most flexible cancellation policies at hotels and car rental companies so that you don't have to pay extra.

If your trip has multiple layers and destinations as the flight disruptions can have a domino effect, you may want to use a travel adviser. While you are in transit, the adviser can help you navigate obstacles and change your itinerary.

Tiffany Bowne, the founder of the luxury travel agency Lounge Couture, said that she was having to reach out to general managers and other representatives to make changes for her clients because of the slow response times. In June, we are dealing with these scenarios, which is frightening in terms of what July and August will look like.

Travel advisers are telling their clients to be open minded and flexible with any last-minute changes because of disruptions.

You will end up having a better time if you are flexible and roll with it.

After a two week vacation in Portugal, Jessica Hubler returned to Philadelphia and tested positive for cocaine. She believes she caught the virus at the Lisbon airport, which no longer requires masks.

She said that she waited for an hour to check in and then had to wait two hours in the customs line and another hour at the gate.

Governments don't care because they need to make up for lost tourism dollars and everyone is excited to go on vacation again. We will find ourselves in a public health emergency if they don't sort out this mess.