Travelers arrived at Orlando International Airport on New Year’s weekend, despite thousands of flight cancellations and delays across the United States.
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A larger proportion of flights are delayed or canceled during the main travel season in late spring and summer, which runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, than during the same period before the 2019 pandemic. Tickets rose along with fuel prices and millions of consumers booked trips after two years of jet lag. Domestic return trips averaged $342 between May and September, nearly 11% higher than in the same period in 2019, according to Hopper.
The labor shortage makes it even harder for airlines to recover from routine events. Ambitious Carriers undercut their hectic schedule to give their activities more breathing space. Overwhelming European centers Limited number of passengers. Even airline staff travel perks has been scaled down.
Government agencies and airlines Debating who is to blame. And on September 1, the Department of Transportation announced a dashboard shows what customers owe when airlines delay or cancel their flights.
This week, ticket prices have also started to fall along with temperatures, but resort travel demand remains strong, executives said.
“We’re seeing a really strong September,” said Patrick Quayle, United Airlines‘Senior vice president of alliances and global network planning, said at a Cowen industry conference this week. “It looks like summer is over. It’s strong like that.”
As airlines prepare for fall – and the busy year-end holidays – here’s how they’re handling the heat this summer:
Passenger numbers this summer spiked compared to two years ago. Over the Labor Day weekend, the Transportation Security Administration screened about 8.76 million people, marking the first holiday weekend since Covid pandemic that’s the beginning busier than one in 2019.
Airlines have canceled or delayed a large portion of their flights compared to 2019. Thinner staffing levels and training redundancies mean they have fewer cabin crew members when employees are scheduled. as the pilot reaches the federally mandated workday limit.
Activity improved during August and during the key Labor Day weekend for some airlines. Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian said in an employee memo on Thursday, which was reviewed by CNBC, there was a 25% decrease in cancellations in August compared with July. He added, during National Day According to the Labor Department, the airline canceled 15 main flights out of a total of 16,636 departures.
Airport delays vary across the country but some of the biggest hubs have a higher proportion of flights arriving later, often caused by spring and summer storms.
Traveler complaints to the Department of Transport have skyrocketed, along with flight disruptions.
According to Hopper data, domestic return fares jumped sharply this spring, reaching a peak in May of $404, up 25% from three years ago. But the price drop, combined with a seasonal lull as business travel remains below 2019 levels, is creating some deals.
The average domestic airfare was $299 in September, still up 2% from the same month in March the previous year. And airline operators expect travel demand to spike around the holidays.
“While we’ll slow down a bit after the summer peak, the holiday travel season will arrive before you know it,” American Airlines COO David Seymour told employees this week.