Fall air travel season shaping up as less crowded than summer, but just as fraught
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If you’ve traveled at all this summer, especially by air, then you know it’s been kinda crazy out there. The travel industry scrambled to ramp up again just as Americans scrambled to finally go on vacation or visit family after two years of hunkering down at home — only to be greeted with packed terminals and flights, delays and cancellations.
So, with Labor Day weekend almost behind us, what’s in store for the fall travel season?
Some delays and other frustrations are likely to continue well into the fall, said Lindsey Roeschke at research firm Morning Consult. That’s because the industry’s still seeking workers to fill its ranks.
But at least the crowds may thin as high prices tamp down demand.
“Everything is more expensive and will likely continue to be more expensive because airlines are cutting back on routes,” she said.
While people are less worried these days about catching COVID on a plane or train, anxieties about travel still run pretty high, according to travel risk consultant Dan Richards.
“When they leave their house, there’s just a level of uncertainty that I think wasn’t there before. And this goes for whether they’re going to the grocery store or going on vacation halfway around the world.”
Until recently, travelers’ No. 1 concern was whether they could get their money back if a trip was interrupted or canceled. Now, it’s whether they have access to emergency medical and evacuation services — for anything from illness to civil unrest.
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