Top 5 Labor Day Weekend Events

Labor Day Weekend is here! If you’re still looking for activities to fill your holiday weekend, we’ve got you covered. From hot air balloons festivals to historical walking tours, here are five events that will keep you busy this holiday weekend.

  1. Washington D.C.: On Sunday, Sept. 1, enjoy a free concert by the National Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. local time. The National Symphony Orchestra performs a free Labor Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol each year, the Sunday before Labor Day. This year’s theme is Americana with works by John Williams, Mark Isham and other composers with the Wild West as the theme.
  2. Pine Mountain, Georgia: On Sunday, Sept. 1, the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival will fill the skies in Pine Mountain. If the Hot Air Balloon Festival doesn’t do it for you, there’s also a classic car show, disc dog demonstrations, a pyrotechnic skydiving demonstration, and a 5K Race event. See the entire schedule of events here.

  3. Kansas City, Missouri: From Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, Kansas City celebrates Irish Fest. Irish music will be played on seven stages, and there are also workshops, exhibits and food throughout the festival. This year you’ll also be able to visit the Tourism Ireland Virtual Café, where you’ll be able to chat directly with someone in Ireland.
  4. New York City: Spend Monday, Sept. 2, getting some exercise and education at the same time. At the Labor Day Historical Walking Tour, you’ll learn about immigrant and labor history as you explore downtown NYC.
  5. San Fransisco: On Monday, Sept. 2, the Golden Gate Park Band will present a concert in Golden Gate Park. The concert will begin at 1:00pm. Special Labor Day Concert with great American and Patriotic music featuring Hall Goff, Trombone soloist along with music by Sousa, Jenkins, Victor Herbert and more!

Share your suggestion for a Labor Day Weekend activity by leaving a comment below, writing on our Facebook page or Tweeting us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Furloughs cause flight delays and cancellations

Air travelers are experiencing delays the government warned us about a few months ago. The delays are reportedly caused by forced federal spending cuts. On Monday, New York City-area airports reported delays for all incoming flights because air traffic controllers were forced to take unpaid time off.

Overall, furloughs kicked in on Sunday for 47,000 Federal Aviation Administration workers, including 15,000 air traffic controllers.

“Throughout today, the FAA has put in place a series of traffic management initiatives around the country to manage both reduced staffing as a result of employee furloughs and weather related issues,” Department of Transportation Press Secretary Justin Nisly said in a statement.

The FAA said there were 400 furlough-related flight delays on Sunday alone. Examples of the flight delays occurred on two Alaska Airlines flights destined for Los Angeles International Airport. The flights were diverted 60 miles away to Ontario International Airport Sunday night due to furloughs and bad weather. Due to the delay, the airline had to bus passengers to LAX. However, the airline waived rebooking fees through Tuesday, citing furloughs.

These delays are the only beginning. FAA workers are required to take a total of 11 days off by the month of September. The workers must take off at least one day every two weeks which means 1,500 controllers could be off the job per day.

“The best indicator of what this is going to be like is (that) we ran delays on Sunday — not one of the busiest days of the week — … on a perfect weather day,” said Stephen Abraham, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association representative in JFK.

In addition to delays, there were another 400 flights canceled Monday and 50 flights canceled Tuesday cancelled as of 5 am ET.

So what is your best bet for dealing with the delays? Be sure to check your flight status before heading to the airport. Be sure to purchase travel insurance to make sure your travel investment is protected against delays, cancellations and many other unforeseeable events.

We’d like to hear your thoughts about the recent flight delays and cancellations. Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!

American Rail System Gains Speed

In 2009, President Obama shared his plan for a high-speed rail across the United States. Whether the rail system will ever get built remains to be seen, but one artist, Alfred Twu, has determined where exactly those speedy rail lines should go.

Twu posted his design on Facebook and since then, the post has gone viral. With the overwhelming response, Twu created a petition to the White House to fund the system, and the petition has over 27,000 signatures after one week.

If the petition works and the government decides to go ahead with the project, the trains would zip across the country at 220 mph. Sound futuristic to you? You’re right, but it might not be as far off as you may think. Advocacy groups have marked potential dates between 2030 and 2050.

Overall, the project is estimated to cost between $1-$2 trillion. If this cost is divided over four decades, the government would be responsible for about $25-$50 billion each year.

To get a closer look at the map, view or download this .PDF file. And tell us, do you think the rail system will bring the United States up to speed with the rest of the developed world? Would you travel on the high-speed rail system? Leave a comment below with your answer.

America’s Worst Airports for Delays

Are you fed up with flight delays and missed connections? Does it seem like you’re always getting delayed at the same airport? You may be onto something. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there are ten airports where you are most likely to get delayed. Find out which airports you should avoid, and if you can’t avoid them, we’ll tell you the best time to travel at each airport.

First up is Newark Liberty International Aiport (EWR). With 23.83% of the flights delayed at Newark, you’re likely to experience some sort of delay. The best way to avoid a delay at this airport is to fly out before 7 a.m. because you’re most likely to get delayed between 1 and 11 p.m.

Next on the list is San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Not far behind Newark, 21.78% of flights out of San Francisco are delayed. This airport has been in the bottom 10 since 2008, and the biggest problem in San Francisco is the fog. Your best bet to avoid fog-related delays is to leave before 8 a.m. However, traveling between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. will most likely result in a delay.

Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) is third on the list. 20.1% of flights out of this airport are delayed. While it used to be the better alternative to O’Hare, Midway has gotten worse over the past few years. Travel before 8 a.m. for the best chances of avoiding delays because if you’re traveling any time after 3 p.m., you’re more likely to experience a delay.

We head southeast for the fourth airport on the list – Miami International Airport (MIA). Miami is a repeat offender and 19.35% of the flights are delayed. Like the previous airports, if you travel before 8 a.m., you have the best chance of departing on time. If you want to sneak in some beach time, fly out after 2 p.m. (especially between 5-10 p.m.) and use your probable delay as an excuse!

George Bush International Airport (IAH) is next on the list at number five. This is a surprise to many since the airport used to be one of the best in on-time performance. Nowadays, 19.29% of all flights are delayed. Delays typically start at 2 p.m. and only get worse. So if you want to increase your chances of staying on schedule, fly out before lunchtime.

Chicago strikes again! Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is number six on the list. O’Hare has long been considered the worst for lengthy waits and 18.82% of the flights are delayed. At O’Hare, the early bird gets the worm because if you depart before 7 a.m., you are less likely to get delayed. However, if you’re leaving late at night, you have a 53% chance of experiencing delays.

Traveling west, Denver International Airport (DEN) takes the number seven spot on this list. Even though the delays aren’t as large as the mountains in the state, 18.24% of flights are delayed. The worst time to travel is between 3 and 11 p.m. This is a great place to travel in the winter, but if you want to get out on time, depart before 9 a.m.

Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Washington D.C. is number eight on this list with 18.02% of all flights delayed. This airport performed worse this year, particularly at night. If you depart around 11 p.m., your chances of being delayed soar to 50 percent. Your best chances of getting out on time fall before the hours of 8 a.m. and between 9 a.m. and noon.

Number nine on the list is Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI). While BWI is one of the most-improved this year, 17.64% of the flights are still delayed. If you want to arrive on time, try flying before 9 a.m. because delays are more frequent after 2 p.m. and only get worse as the day goes on.


Lastly, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) arrives at number ten on the list. 16.67% of the flights are delayed at this mega-hub known as “Big D”. DFW is slowly improving, but don’t take your chances between 4 and 9 p.m. because that is when you’re most likely to experience delays. For your best chances, try to score a flight before 8 a.m.

In the end, what’s the best way to keep travel delays from ruining your vacation? Purchase travel insurance. You’ll be covered for everything from travel delays to an illness. Don’t let an airport behind schedule ruin your vacation. Try to schedule your flights at times with the fewest delays and protect your investment with travel insurance.

Safe (and on-time) travels,
Your friends at TravelSafe