WHEELING, W. Va. (WTRF)

Flights are being delayed and canceled in record numbers.

On Father’s Day alone, more than 3,000 flights were delayed or canceled.

Travelers are stranded, schedules are scrapped and vacation plans are ruined.

Industry experts warn it will likely continue all summer.

It’s being blamed on pilot shortages and overbooked planes.

Bill Bryson of Uniglobe Ohio Valley Travel says his whole staff is working to get help for people who are stranded.

He says in times like this, your travel agent is on your side.

“Somebody said they were considering booking a trip themselves,” Bryson noted. “And we said well you can go ahead, but this is the worst time I would ever consider doing that.  I would want somebody there who can punch with me,  and deal with the airlines and tour operators and all that, somebody who knows the ropes. As much as we hate to hear about people having these problems, we want you to know that we would fight with you, and you’d be much better off with an office with five people all staying over on a Friday night, trying to find a flight for you.”

So Bryson has five tips on how to deal with this rocky time in the airline industry.

The first two tips are about being early—book early and arrive at the airport early.

Then, he says, be flexible, and open to change.

Be sure to get travel insurance, because you might need it.

And finally, as he mentioned before, go through a travel agent.

Don’t book the trip yourself.