Patience will be needed this holiday season as it’s expected to be busier than in summer 2022. As airlines see a rise in bookings, the lack of staff members leads to crowded airports, flight delays, and even cancellations. 

Linda Snyder, Vice President of travel and retail services for AAA Minneapolis, says, “Even if you plan ahead, that doesn’t help you in a TSA line.”

Whether you’re flying or driving, experts say it’s best to book now as prices will only rise. 

Snyder says, “If you still need a hotel, wherever you’re going, plan ahead because hotels aren’t always filling to capacity because of labor shortages. They may not have enough people to check people in or they don’t have enough housekeeping.”

So how will staff shortages affect you this holiday season? 

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Airlines aren’t able to fly as much

Although airlines are hiring new employees, including pilots, training takes time and slows down the pace of flights. 

Greg Mays, executive Vice President and chief operating officer of Sun Country, tells StarTribune, “We are not going to be able to fly as much as we want to fly, and I think the entire industry will be in that situation.”

Delta executives shared that the busiest travel days during the holidays may be less crowded due to travelers extending their trips and working remotely. The airline’s highest revenue days have historically been the Sunday after Thanksgiving; however, this year, things are looking a bit different. “That’s now a little bit lighter, and we see that travel moving into Monday and Tuesday returns,” says Glen Hauenstein, Delta Air Line’s president.

Expect to pay more to travel


Even hotel rates have limited their room sales due to staff shortages. As an alternative, travelers are looking to book with short-term rental sites like Airbnb. The demand for Airbnbs is higher, resulting in an increase in prices. 

Affects of Inflation

According to a Bankrate survey in September, 43% of the 2,455 participants said they’re expected to travel this holiday season. 8 in 10 of those say they are changing their travel plans due to inflation. 

Travelers are trying less expensive excursions and looking for cheaper travel destinations and experiences. 

Gen Z travelers may avoid heading home for the holidays. 82% of the survey’s Gen Z and millennial respondents say they will most likely change their travel plans because of inflation. 

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