Summer is shaping up to be a busy travel season — from planes and hotels, to theme parks and other popular destinations. Many aspects of travel look and feel “back to normal” but there are a couple changes that may cause some hiccups in your plans.
Here are three things to be aware of if you plan to take a flight this summer:
If you’ve been searching for airfare then you’ve noticed prices are sky high. During 2020-2021, airfare was the cheapest it had been in years. Now, airfare is up more than 11% over 2019 across most airlines, with few exceptions (like ultra-low-cost-carriers, ex: Allegiant).
What’s causing the increase? For one, demand is exceeding what airlines can manage. That means seats are coming at a premium. The second cause is rising fuel prices. Airlines are having to make a difficult decision whether to pass those costs onto passengers.
So how do you find the best deals available? Start looking about four to five months in advance, set price alerts and use flight search tools.
Like many industries, air travel is experiencing staffing shortages. This is impacting the amount of flights available.
Air travel is heavily regulated for safety which means for many airline jobs, there is a minimum number of staff required to do certain tasks, and a maximum number of hours that staff is allowed to work. At airports, there could be fewer TSA agents, fewer concessions available or shortages in airline support roles, like ticket and gate counters, baggage handling, etc.
All that’s to say — patience and politeness are key. Prepare for things to take a little longer and be kind to those managing higher-than-normal workloads.
Warm weather brings intense storms which can delay travel plans. It doesn’t have to be the weather where you’re currently sitting or where you’re trying to go that can impact your flight’s schedule — it could be a nasty storm on your flight path, or maybe your plane is coming from a completely different destination.
Airline networks are complex and every airline operates differently in terms of how they manage flight crews. Airlines have to look several steps ahead to see how delaying or canceling one flight may impact flights all over the country or even world. Suffice to say, sunny skies aren’t the only factor for a smooth flight.
Oftentimes, the bigger the airport, the bigger the challenges and frustrations become. There are some things you can rely on at MLI — a short, easy check-in process, fast security screening and friendly staff to guide you.
Ashleigh Davis is the public relations and marketing manager for the Quad Cities International Airport. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org