NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— If you’ve tried to book a vacation, then you already know how high plane fares are right now. But, it turns out that pricing isn’t the only challenge travelers are facing–flight times changes and delays have also been a part of many vacations this summer.
“Come to find out it was at 10, and then the 10 was pushed back to 2. We’ve been here since 4 o’clock this morning, and this is unacceptable,” said Yvonne McGee and Gloria Brown, who are visiting town from Philadelphia. “We booked these flights a month and a half ago.”
McGee and Brown are trying to get back to Philly after spending a week in our city and they’re an example of the challenges travelers are facing across the country, due in some part to staffing challenges at airlines.
“It’s no different than a restaurant. Restaurants have closed hours and say, ‘we’re only open from this time to this time.’ It’s the same idea, they just have to restaff,” Melinda Bourgeois with Travel Central told WGNO’s LBJ.
Melinda Bourgeois has run Travel Central for 33 years and she says something also complicating the matter for some travelers is airline ticket prices due to supply and demand plus fuel costs.
“Summer is the highest season to travel because all the kids are out of school, all the teachers are out of school so everybody who normally doesn’t travel is traveling, and then fuel prices are up. It’s not just our cars; jet fuel is up double,” Bourgeois added.
The cost of flights is even affecting our musicians’ ability to make a living, like pianist Jon Papa Gros.
“Next month, I had a festival I was playing in California that was carried over from 2020 at 2020 prices. Expenses are so high now that the flights are tripled. I had to cancel the whole performance,” Gros explained.
Bourgeois says the good news is that people are still traveling, but she offers this advice in hopes of making your trip a bit smoother.
“Pack your patience!” Bourgeois laughed.
Bourgeois also told us that as far as delays and canceled flights are concerned, although we usually don’t have weather issues here, some of the larger airline hubs like New York or Los Angeles can have cancellations, which can bring trickle-down effects for other parts of the country.