Expect 'flightmares,' Memorial Day airport delays, warns travel expert

Posted at 4:51 PM, May 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-28 17:51:53-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Travel experts warn that the first summer since pandemic restrictions have begun to lift will bring a surge in passenger numbers that could lead to delays, disruptions, postponements or even cancellations of flights.

Many restrictions introduced more than two years ago have been lifted, but with the lingering presence of Covid, airline, airport and hospitality industry workers are facing increased demand for their services in the face of staffing shortages.

Rose Ackermann, Executive Editor at Family Destinations Guide said the increased number of travelers will have an impact on waiting times between check-in counters, security screenings and baggage collection.

“While it is great news that travel has fully opened up and families can finally have proper vacations, the combination of increased demand and staff shortages have the potential to cause significant delays and an overall sub-par travel experience,” Ackermann said.

The cost of tickets has increased as well. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average price of a domestic flight in Tennessee is currently $329.30, which is higher than the national average of $327.13.

The TSA reports air passenger traffic is also expected to be especially heavy in peak periods, either equal to or greater than in previous years, for the first time since the pandemic began.

According to Family Destinations Guide, here are 4 pieces of advice to consider before traveling this season:

  • Aim for flights that depart early in the day. This way, if your flight is canceled last minute, your chances of getting rebooked on the same day are significantly higher.
  • Anticipate delays and plan accordingly. Remember to leave extra time between stops on your itinerary so that major delays only upset a limited number of your plans.
  • Review your travel insurance policy. Since the travel industry is quite unpredictable in the face of the changing pandemic landscape, this is a more practical consideration than it already might have been.
  • Exercise patience with airport and airline staff. The processes may be slower than the last time you traveled, as the industry is still attempting to recover. Remember that you're dealing with fellow humans, not robots.