As the world is resurfacing from 2 years of pandemic lock-downs, and many people across the country are finally ready to travel again, airlines around the globe are trying to cope with the unprecedented demand that they’re experiencing.
Eager travelers have been locked in for over 2 years and are just longing for their next summer vacation.
People are undeniably willing and able to fly, so much in fact, that airport staff and airlines can hardly keep up.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian announced that March 2022 had been the carrier’s best month for sales in its history. Airlines across the country are flying at record passenger loads and airports are experiencing unbearably long waiting times for travelers.
The aviation industry has certainly experienced the worst turmoil due to COVID, no other industry had to face so much financial damage, restrictions, and changes throughout the past 2 years.
Attempting to resuscitate the aviation industry from such hardships takes time because at the center of all the challenges airlines are facing, are staffing shortages.
The labor force is the heart of any airline operation.
Yes, there are aircraft shortages that have effectively whipped out entire summer routes for airlines this year and reduced operations on other routes, but the lack of staffing at airlines and airports is the real culprit causing a potential chaotic travel summer.
Without proper staffing, airlines crumble under rising demand, and that is exactly what is currently happening and will most likely continue to happen this summer.
Between strenuous background checks and long training assessments, hiring airline staff can take months.
The outcome: A recipe for disaster now that demand for air travel is back and airlines simply cannot fulfill such demand.
The question travelers will have to ask themselves now is:
“How can I navigate through this chaotic travel summer?”
Travelers can’t control staffing and aircraft shortages, but they can control how they prepare for a trip.
One of the simplest ways to make your life a lot easier for your trip this year is to submit travel documents early!
A lot of airlines will let you check into your flights 24 hours before departure if you can provide them with your travel documentation. This will include your proof of vaccination, as well as a negative Covid test.
Some airlines will let you submit your documents directly to them for verification, but there is an app called VeriFly that is working with multiple airlines on this issue.
Using VeriFly App is a great way for travelers to save themselves from long lines at the airport.
VeriFly app is a secure and free digital health app developed for airlines that lets users upload vaccination and test records and complete pre-boarding health screenings before they get to the airport.
American Airlines, Alaska, Iberia, and British Airways are a few of the carriers that use it, along with other One-world carriers, to streamline the documentation process needed for passengers to check in for their flights.
Once your documentation is successfully verified with the app, you will be able to check-in at the airport in a separate line designed for VeriFly travelers. This makes the whole process a lot easier and faster.
Consider enrolling in Global Entry
A great way to also save yourself some time at the airport and avoid lines is by enrolling in Global entry. A U.S. trusted traveler program that allows you to enter the country quickly and efficiently. A big advantage to this program is that you’ll also be getting TSA PreCheck.
Another option is CLEAR, an expedited way to enter the security lanes at many major airports, including Phoenix, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Denver, and many others. While its a pay-to-play service, for frequent travelers it could make a massive difference in minimizing travel woes.
Book Direct Flights
It can be tempting to book a flight with multiple layovers in order to save a few bucks. However, this travel season consider booking your next trip with as few layovers as possible. The fewer flights you’re taking to your destination, the less likely you are to get delayed or canceled.
No matter where you’re heading off to this summer, expect longer than usual lines and wait times. However, if you want to make this travel season as painless as possible, plan ahead, get all your ducks in a row before you travel, and ensure that you’re enrolled in Global Entry (TSA PreCheck).
Use the VeriFly app and make your life easier by submitting all your travel documents early.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories