NASHVILLE, Tennessee. (WTVF) — Travel experts warn that the first summer after the pandemic begins to lift restrictions will see an increase in passenger numbers, which could result in delays, disruptions, rescheduling or even cancellation of flights.
Many of the restrictions imposed more than two years ago have been lifted, but due to the continued presence of Covid, airline, airport and hospitality workers are facing increased demand for their services amid workforce shortages.
Rose Ackermann, executive editor of the Family Destinations Guide, said the increase in travelers will impact waiting times between check-in counters, security checks and baggage claim.
“While it’s good news that travel is fully open and families can finally get some rest, the combination of increased demand and staff shortages could result in significant delays and an overall deterioration in the quality of travel,” Ackermann said.
Ticket prices have also increased. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average Tennessee domestic flight price is currently $329.30, higher than the national average of $327.13.
The TSA says air passenger traffic will also be especially heavy during peak periods, equaling or exceeding previous years, for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
According to the Family Destinations Guide, here are 4 tips to consider before traveling this season:
- Aim for flights that depart early in the day. This way, if your flight is canceled at the last minute, your chances of being rebooked on the same day will greatly increase.
- Anticipate delays and plan accordingly. Be sure to allow extra time between stops on your itinerary so that major delays only disrupt a limited number of your plans.
- Review your travel insurance policy. Since the travel industry is rather unpredictable in the face of the changing pandemic landscape, this is a more practical consideration than it might be.
- Be patient with airport and airline personnel. Processes may be slower than the last time you traveled as the industry is still trying to recover. Remember that you are dealing with other people, not robots.