Brace yourself for a bumpy summer of travel disruptions.
After a spring plagued with bad weather and airline labor shortages, travel agents are warning summer travel will be worse.
Steve Cosgrove, the owner of Dynamic Travel and Cruises in Southlake, said people should plan on their flights getting delayed or canceled.
“It’s going to be a zoo,” said Cosgrove. “There’s tremendous pent-up demand. Our phones are ringing like crazy. We’re booking like crazy and there are not that many empty seats out there.”
Travel demand is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels this summer.
The TSA screened nearly 2.1 million passengers every day last week, up nearly a million since last year.
The summer travel demand comes as every airline struggles to hire pilots and flight crews. JetBlue announced last week it was cutting 10% of its summer flights due to understaffing.
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The new CEOs of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have pledged to be more reliable in their operations, but Cosgrove said with ongoing labor issues be prepared for ongoing disruptions.
“If I was a betting person I would bet on delays,” Cosgrove said.
He advised people book flights now as prices are only going up and to plan on their flight being delayed or canceled.
“Do not wait to leave until the morning of your cruise. Do not leave the morning of the wedding,” Cosgrove said.
He cautioned people to allow extra time until they need to be at their final destination.
And, he encouraged people to be kind as gate agents, ticket agents, and flight crews are under constant stress due to ongoing labor issues.
“Take your patience and your understanding,” Cosgrove said. “I’ve never once seen where a person yelling at a gate agent or ticket agent has got what they were wanting.”