As the holiday season rapidly approaches in the US, travelers who haven’t seen their families in months — and in some cases, years — face costly air trips and unexpected cancellations as airlines vaccinate their employees. demands.
Plus, in addition to astronomical airfares, unexpected cancellations, and staggering wait times, travelers who choose to cross the states by car will have to deal with far higher gas prices than usual.
American Airlines and JetBlue both issued mandates this month requiring their employees to work before the holidays.
Airlines have demanded that their employees get their second shot of the COVID vaccine by November 24, the day before Thank you.
Any employee who refuses could wind up on the busiest travel day in the US calendar or face an axe, which led to a flood of flight cancellations due to a sudden shortage of staff.
If such a slowdown occurs, ticket prices for flights that end up flying will go up even higher than usual for expensive times of the year, as passengers whose planes have been canceled will be left behind for other flights. will increase the prices.
With Thanksgiving approaching and easing of COVID restrictions from last year, experts say expect higher airfares, longer lines and sudden cancellations
With the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions since last year, record numbers of people are expected to arrive at airports in the coming months to travel to visit family they haven’t seen since the start of the pandemic .
JetBlue has 22,000 employees, but did not say how many of their employees were shot. American – the world’s largest airline – has 133,000 employees, and has yet to disclose figures on how many of its employees still need to be vaccinated.
In addition, after nearly two years of low ridership, airlines have increased ticket prices to make up for lost profits.
The average price of a US Thanksgiving flight is up 13 percent from 2019 — and a shocking 37 percent from last year.
US carriers’ 2020 net losses after the pandemic were in the billions, according to analyst estimates provided by software company FactSet – and airlines are still projected to lose more than $200 billion through the next year.
Anyone hoping to save money by traveling by car is in for a nasty shock, with national average gas prices rising 50.75 percent in one year.
A gallon of gas now costs $3.288, up $1.107 from the same period last year. Rocketing price hikes have been blamed for the rise in crude oil prices, as the world reopens post-COVID, with a sharp jump in demand.
Economists predict that prices are set to rise for an extended period, meaning there is little hope of any relief for Thanksgiving.
However, with the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions since last year, record numbers of travelers are expected to travel to the country in the coming months, possibly not seen since the start of the pandemic.
“Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, airports and flights are expected to be packed more than ever,” travel insurance company executive Narendra Khatri told The Washington Post last month. ‘This means more flight delays, cancellations and longer distances.’
Any airline employee who refuses the airlines’ forced mask mandate could quit at work or face the ax – on the busiest travel day in the US calendar – of flight cancellations due to a sudden shortage of staff. trigger a flood
This AAA chart shows how gas prices have risen this year, leaving holiday motorists having a tough time at the pumps.
“We are seeing huge demand,” Ankit Gupta, vice president of network planning and scheduling for United, another major airline, said in a statement.
The airline announced last month that there was a 16 percent increase in holiday flight searches on their website compared to 2019.
Meanwhile, interest in domestic flights for the Thanksgiving season is up 111 percent from last year, according to travel site Trip Action.
“Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, airports and flights are expected to be more packed than ever,” said travel insurance company executive Narendra Khatri. Washington Post last month.
‘This means more flight delays, cancellations and longer distances.’
And prices are rising too – across all major airlines.
For domestic flights, the average fare is $377, up 13 percent from 2019 and 37 percent from 2020. International flights are flat compared to 2019, averaging about $968 this year, but up 18 percent from last year.
American airline executives told their employees that they should be fully vaccinated on November 24 — the day before Thanksgiving — or until they face expiration.
Airlines’ ultimatum came after President Joe BidenLast month’s executive order required all airline employees to be vaccinated by December 8 — and the two companies now join an assortment of other carriers that have complied with the White House’s demand.
The Columbus Day weekend has already seen an unprecedented stream of delays for another major airline, Southwest, when more than 2,300 flights were abruptly canceled during the holiday weekend, amid rumors that a crowd of pilots had taken a stand against Biden. Objecting to the mandate, said ill in protest.
Both the airline and its pilots union have denied those sick-out claims, although Southwest has faced several times more cancellations in recent days than any other US airline.
The head of Southwest’s pilots union, Captain Casey Murray, blamed the company’s management for the snafu.
Southwest is already being hampered by staff shortages as demand for travel soars after travel laws were eased.
JetBlue also issued a mandate this month requiring employees to work before the holidays
The airline has lost over 8,000 employees since the pandemic began in the states as of August 2021, according to government data.
There may also be unforeseen COVID-related restrictions or outbreaks at travelers’ destinations – especially for international travelers – which could lead to last-minute cancellations.
The influx of reservations for vacation rentals also suggests that holiday travel rates will be at an all-time high in the coming months.
According to short-term rental property management platform Gesti, the volume of home reservations for the months of November and December is 377 percent higher than last year, and up 91 percent from 2019.
For Thanksgiving, the average rental rate is $415 per night, up 19 percent from the previous year.
Meanwhile, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has reluctantly backed the prospect of Thanksgiving travel, but warned travelers not to let their guard down during the holidays, saying infections could ‘bounce back’ .’
Americans traveling by land should expect similar losses.
Gas prices are higher than they have been in the past seven years — $1 per gallon higher than last Thanksgiving.
In addition, drivers in some California counties are paying more than $5 per gallon.
And while more people are eager to travel, the nationwide COVID death toll has passed 700,000 – an additional 1,700 Americans die from the virus every day, and thousands of vaccinated citizens succumb to ‘breakthrough infections’ – A COVID case that occurs in someone who is fully vaccinated.