Imagine this situation: the holiday you’ve been dreaming of since the beginning of 2020, before the pandemic, has finally come. The luggage is ready, you have enough time to get to the airport, only once you get there, you find queues so long that you simply miss the much desired flight.
That’s what happened to passengers at Dublin Airport last week – more than 1,000 people. The situation was so chaotic that the government summoned the general manager of the airport to come up with a plan for the rest of the summer, and the company undertook to pay the extra expense of the passengers who missed the flights.
But unfortunately, it’s not just about Dublin. Dutch airline KLM stopped selling tickets for four days last week as a result of chaos in Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam at its base in April and May. KLM has offered passengers the opportunity to make a new reservation, as an alternative to avoid long queues at the airport, CNN reports.
Meanwhile, UK airports, including Manchester, Heathrow and Gatwick, are the subject of newspaper headlines on a daily basis due to queues that sometimes extend even outside buildings due to missing luggage and hundreds of flights canceled, mainly by British Airways, EasyJet and Tui.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary told ITV this week that Britain should “bring in the army” to help reduce the chaos.
The situation extends beyond the ocean. Flights to the United States are also severely affected. Delta Air Lines canceled more than 500 flights on Memorial Day weekend, while American Airlines canceled more than 100 flights on Monday alone. Meanwhile, Delta has promised to drop 100 flights a day this summer to “minimize disruptions,” while JetBlue reduces its flight schedule by 10 percent and Alaska Airlines by 2 percent.
Dark perspectives on the horizon
Traveling in the summer is always a challenge, but this year’s travel is already taking it to another level. Experts say it’s a perfect storm: all of a sudden, we all want to travel, but airlines and airports fired staff during the pandemic and are now struggling to recruit replacements. Simply put: you just can’t handle so many passengers at once.
Of course, experts have been warning for some time about this situation, but now I think things will get worse. Americans, for example, are advised not to travel to Europe in August because a “crazy summer” will follow.
Gasoline prices are still high, there is a record demand for the entire system, and airlines are facing a crisis of staff, including pilots, because they have been concerned, especially in the last two years, to reduce everything. time costs and made layoffs. So are airports The main cause of the disruption is staff shortages.
In their defense, the airlines say that they were taken too short, that they were not announced well in advance about the resumption of travel. On the other hand, it also depends on the management of each company. Some have managed to cope and things are going well, while others are facing a total disaster, according to a specialist quoted by CNN.
And achieving adequate staffing levels will be impossible if airports and airlines do not come with better salary offers, experts warn. Check-in staff are sometimes paid less than supermarket vendors.
What is certain is that the peak of travel has not yet been reached and there are no short-term solutions for staff shortages. And in this situation, the airlines have no choice but to cancel flights, so a vicious circle is created.
Two more hassles: Brexit and Carmaggedon
For those traveling to the EU outside the EU bloc, there is another issue: Brexit. While British travelers enjoyed freedom of movement in the EU, they could travel anywhere and anytime they wanted in the European Community after Brexit, they are treated the same as other people arriving from outside the EU. This means that their passport must be stamped both on arrival and departure. He waits in line for passport control for even a few hours. Popular destinations among British tourists already feel the difference. But the opposite is also true, because those trying to get to the UK have to go through the same procedure.
Then there’s another problem. If you have not yet booked a rental car on arrival, you may want to rethink your trip. CNN is talking about a real one Carmageddon (pun between “car” – the English word for “car” and “Armaggedon”): the prices for renting a car are very high.
For August, if you book two months in advance, the cheapest one-week rental in the popular Portuguese city of Porto is $ 582 for a local company or $ 772 for a multinational.
A tour operator for Italy told CNN it could no longer find cars for reservations in Sardinia in June.
CNN has checked the cheapest price available for a two-day rental this weekend at various major airports. The best price he could find was $ 150 at Los Angeles International Airport, $ 161 in Miami, $ 167 at Heathrow, $ 225 in Nice, southern France, and $ 183 in Venice. , in Italy.
The situation is so serious that experts recommend that this year the holidays should be spent close to homewhere you can drive your own car, or if not, be a more static holiday, without long-distance travel, possibly using public transport or simply walking.
It would be even better if the holidays were postponed to September, October or November. Because the situation with car rental also extends to accommodation. Hotels and Airbnb accommodation are already booked.
Panic at sea
Cruises were severely affected by the pandemic in the beginning, when the number of cases on board ships increased rapidly, making them real hot spots.
Now, even when people are ready to return to water travel, the cruise industry is shaken by the same staffing problems as air travel. Here, too, hiring cannot be done overnight, because there are a number of certifications that crew members must receive. So some races are simply canceled, while others have program or service limitations available.
The good news is that once the capacity limits imposed by the pandemic’s sanitary regulations are removed, there are now more seats available on board cruise ships, so prices will also be calibrated according to supply.
Editor: Luana Pavaluca
#CNN #Traveling #summer #nightmare #reasons #chaos #transport