Summer 2022 is going to be one for the books. It’s the first time since the pandemic that travelers will be able to enjoy restriction-free travel. However, it’s the first summer since the pandemic where demands aren’t able to meet supply.
Travel is expected to sky rocket for the next few months, which is a recipe for chaos.
Memorial Day Weekend was an indicator to how the rest of the summer could go, with thousands of flight cancellations and delays.
Related: Travelers Experience Thousands Of Flight Cancellations This Memorial Day Weekend
From July 1st to August 7th, Delta Air Lines will be cutting about 100 flights per day. Alaska Airlines is reducing its schedule by 2 percent and JetBlue by ten percent.
Travel expert Christopher Elliott tells CNN, “I think this is just the opening act for what will be a crazy summer. We still have high gas prices, we have record demand straining the entire system, we still have pilot shortages. Airlines haven’t fully staffed up yet the way they needed to.”
Many airlines say they weren’t given enough warning for the increase in travel demands.
According to the Federal Aviation Association, the largest airports in the U.S. are experiencing delays and cancellations because of staffing issues.
Airlines are requiring less training to get more pilots in the air as travel demands rapidly increase.
Travel magazine editor Rory Boland says it would be very difficult for airports to staff properly since staff are being paid low wages.
“Airport working conditions are difficult. You’re asked to work difficult hours, on-site parking is not usually free, and there’s very little incentive when you’re being paid less than a supermarket [would pay you],” says Boland.
Rental car surge
The rental car industry has also been impacted by the travel surge. Travelers are having to pay high rates to rent cars as well as surging gas prices. For example, the weekly rental car rental in Miami ranges from $300 to $600 and in Chicago from $700 to over $1,000. The price of gas has doubled since January 2021.
Eliott tells CNN, “If you don’t have your own car, go somewhere using mass transit, and go somewhere that allows you to walk or has access to mass transit.”
He suggests saving bucket list travel for September, October, and/or November.