It's a classic Catch-22 for the airlines.
Demand is up, and the fares are higher than usual.
But the airlines have had a hard time keeping up with the rush. And so, for that matter, have the airports. Orlando International recently issued a rare warning for travelers to not come to the airport by themselves. There was no parking. They were encouraging the use of taxis, and drop-off by friends and family.
In a report from NPR, they cite other factors.
Part of the issue is the demand itself. We are clearly over the pandemic, according to the numbers of people traveling right now.
That's what NPR transportation correspondent David Schaper thinks.
"Yeah, it actually has," he said as part of a panel discussion. "It's bounced back much more quickly, at least domestically, than the airline industry was prepared for, even. And so they were short-staffed when people came back flying in droves last year. And that's why we saw all those flight delays and cancellations and frustrations among travelers last spring and summer. The airlines do seem better prepared now, and they'd better be ready because the industry group Airlines for America says they'll be flying up to 2.6 million people a day in March and April."
A4A chief economist John Heimlich agrees.
"That will be up almost 10 percent year over year, but notably up 1 percent from the same period in 2019, which would be, we believe, an all-time high," he said. "And that is occurring even though the airlines have 10 percent fewer flights scheduled for that period than they did in 2019."
The TSA has screened over 2 million passengers each day over the last three weeks. Spring break travel demand is surging, and it makes you wonder just how busy travel will be this summer.
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