Leaving on a Jet Plane
Many Americans are still planning vacations and getaways as the summer calendar winds down. It turns out this is a good time to be in the market for an airplane ticket, as it’s National Cheap Flight Day.
The holiday was born out of the fact airfares tend to fall in price after Labor Day, which is the close of peak summer-travel season. On a historical basis, airlines start lowering prices beginning today, August 23. Industry experts say airfares are kept low over the next four weeks in order to overcome lagging demand. Prices begin picking up again after that, peaking during Thanksgiving travel.
Crowded, Sunny Skies
Florida, aptly known as the Sunshine State, is one of the most popular domestic destinations for US travelers. Industry experts explain the air traffic logjam that unfolds over Florida on a daily basis is one of the biggest problems plaguing the airline industry.
There’s Miami, Key West, Palm Beach, Clearwater, and of course Disney (DIS) World in Orlando. All of those resort locations packed into a single state creates an obstacle course in the skies. Only Atlanta’s air traffic control center handles more flights than Florida’s facilities. Through a cascading effect, delays and cancellations that happen in Florida affect the entire country.
Charting a Course for Normal
In an interview late last month, United Airlines (UAL) CEO Scott Kirby predicted the airline industry’s woes will last through the end of the year and begin to improve sometime in 2023. He explained the industry won’t get its staffing levels where they need to be until next summer.
Other outlets have suggested 2023 is when the skies could become a bit friendlier. The International Air Transport Association has forecast a similar timeline. That may be less than welcome news for people booking a flight in the nearer term, but at least it’s something to look for on the horizon.
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