The travel industry has gone through so many changes over the past year that it’s hard to imagine vacationing ever being the same.
However, with many Americans complying with all the wild mandates and rules so they can finally see their loved ones and the world, air travel has picked up exponentially!
So if you thought you’d have the whole row to yourself on the flight to see grandma, think again – because you will have some surprises this holiday season.
Not only can you expect to be next to screaming kids, obnoxious passengers, and rushed businessmen, but you will have the traditional high airfares, delays, and cancellations we’ve all come to expect during the holiday season.
Experts even say that some airfare is up by 55%, according to NBC News.
“This really boils down to demand surging faster than supply is catching up,” said Zach Griff with The Points Guy.
Eager vacationers who were looking forward to finally scratching that traveler’s itch are getting nervous about the forecast of holiday airfare.
Marcia Tillman from Southern California is hoping to fly to Milwaukee for Christmas, reports NBC News, but is hesitant.
“I’m kinda scared to look (at fares),” said Tillman.
And that’s just Milwaukee – where it is cold!
Want to escape the cold and head south to Florida? Then get ready to pay nearly $700 an airline ticket, NBC News warns.
Is there a way to avoid the astronomical airfare?
Experts say to buy tickets as early as possible because the closer you get to a holiday, the more you can expect to pay.
Which means you are cutting it close if you were hoping to take to the skies this Thanksgiving –with tickets to New Orleans already at $1,500 roundtrip!
However, making winter vacation plans now is a great idea.
Still, assuming you find decent airfare on a budget airline, you still have to prepare for the madness you’ll find at the airport and beyond.
Miami International Airport is testing out COVID-19 sniffing dogs that would require you to get a rapid test on the spot, and moving around New York City is nearly impossible without complying with their draconian mandates – such as having a vaccination card in order to eat in a restaurant.
Going through the airport with three suitcases stuffed with all the cousins’ holiday gifts while being smothered in a mask is where all the fun begins.
Then you have to make it through the excessive TSA security measures – only to find out at the terminal that your flight has been cancelled!
…but don’t worry they can put you on a new flight at a nearby airport where you go through the whole process all over again.
Griff says the airlines try to blame weather for all the cancellations, but admits staffing issues are a huge part of the problem.
Pilots and flight attendants have been hired back, but the whole industry is still not in a position to support pre-pandemic traffic.
Try to plan ahead and allow time for all the unfortunate events that can occur during the holiday travel season.
The Points Guy suggests not flying on a regional plane because they cancel more often, and to book for the first flight of the day so you’ll catch a plane that’s already set for takeoff.
While avoiding all the snafus accompanying holiday travel is impossible, being prepared for the turbulence you’ll experience – both on and off the plane – will at least relieve some of the stress.
Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about the invasive travel procedures Biden has put in place, so buckle up!