KENNER (WGNO)— Half a million people will be traveling to New Orleans for the busy Fourth of July and Essence Fest weekend. Currently airlines are canceling flights and delaying flights due to staff shortages.

Michael Hernandez is checking his flight status—hoping for the best.

“Looks like everything is good so far. No delays,” he said.

But travelers like Michael are a rarity on this busy Fourth of July travel week.

“You should expect a delay and be ready and prepared for that,” Hernandez said.

Tanika Smith from Boston wasn’t prepared for her United flight to be cancelled.

“I’m really annoyed and angry because we had already pre-planned and budgeted for our flights so I had to pay $200 out of my funding and planning and paying was a tight squeeze,” she said.

She had to pay an extra $200 to book an entirely new flight on a different airline—Jet Blue just to get here for Essence Fest.

“That’s not free or cheap to do that,” she said.

But now she’s happy to be here in New Orleans and she’s ready to let the good times roll.

“Thank God, we’re here. We’re happy, and we’re safe,” she said.

The Vacationer.com offers these tips if your flight gets cancelled.

-Book Non-Stop Flights.

-Book Early Flights.

-Sign Up For Text and E-mail Alerts For Flights.

-Use Flight Aware App, which helps track flight cancellations.

-Demand a Full Refund If Your Flight Is Cancelled or Significantly Delayed.

“They offered us a possibility, but not a guaranteed refund. We put in a claim, but we’ll see what happens,” Smith said.

Other travelers off their own tips on dealing with travel troubles.

“I pray that everything goes well,” Emma Armon from Indianapolis said.

Tatasha Warfield from Indianapolis said, “Get enough rest before and get Starbucks.”

Michael Hernandez from Los Angeles said, “Don’t get frustrated and pack a snack.”