Politics

Experts Warn of ‘Airmageddon’ as July 4th Travel Peaks

Throughout this nation, we are finding that reemerging from the coronavirus pandemic isn’t quite as rosy a proposition as we once believed.

For many, [your author included], it felt as though there was a surefire bout of prosperity looming just over the horizon, in the light at the end of the pandemic’s tunnel.   This was going to be some new “roaring twenties” sort of situation, but with twerking instead of The Charleston.

Instead, we’ve run into an unexpected problem, as many within the workforce who were home-bound during the pandemic, found themselves unwilling to head back to work when it was over.  And it wasn’t just in the fast-food or restaurant industry, where a stealthy wage revolution appears to be occurring.

No, even in highly specialized fields there are major corporations struggling to fill positions.  This is part of the reason why some travel experts are warning that this 4th of July weekend could bring us Airmageddon.

As the U.S. prepares for what some in the industry are calling “airmageddon,” travelers are bracing for a possible meltdown at airlines, airports and security and customs checkpoints, not to mention hotels and hotel services.

AAA predicts roughly 42 million Americans will take a road trip by car of 50 miles or more.

But the real crunch: 3.5 million people are expected to fly this holiday weekend. Airfares cost, on average, 14% more, and in some markets have quadrupled. And hotel rates are up a whopping 23% since 2021.

There are plenty of issues seemingly contributing to the trouble.

And all this is happening as the major airline and travel stakeholders spar over delays and cancellations. The airlines are blaming the Federal Aviation Administration for delays, the FAA claims the airlines are flying schedules they can’t physically support, pilots are blaming the airlines for increased workloads and flying hours they claim could be a safety issue, passenger complaints against airlines are up 300% over 2019, and the U.S. Department of Transportation is contemplating emergency rulemaking options.

While there are plenty of industries who’ve been struggling to return to pre-pandemic efficiency, the world of air travel has been particularly fraught with setbacks…and this weekend could be a flashpoint for many.

Cross-posted with Flag and Cross

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